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Jets Bell eager for contact, wants teammates to hit him

By Dennis Waszak Jr., Associated Press FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Le'Veon Bell wants his teammates to hit him. Nothing too hard or violent, but just enough for him to feel it. The New York Jets running back isn't playing during the preseason, so he's doing whatever he can to be ready for football when the regular season starts. "Give me a little something," he tells some of the veterans on defense. "Go for the ball, things like that, just so I can get prepared." Bell hasn't played in a game in nearly 20 months, a lengthy layoff as a result of his contract dispute with Pittsburgh. He sat out last season, signed with New York in March and is being held out of preseason games as a precaution. The three-time Pro Bowl pick has been getting plenty of action in practice, though. And he feels ready to go. But just to be sure, he goes up to guys such as nose tackle Steve McLendon, linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety Jamal Adams and asks them to get physical. He knows they might be wary, not wanting to injure him — so he'll try to make them angry by running harder, so they'll give him a pop. "I try to do that intentionally just so I can feel it," Bell said. "And, a lot of times you'll start seeing guys a little frustrated and they'll try to hit me back and that's what I need. They won't take me to the ground, they're not really going for my legs. Hitting me up top, things like that, I need all that." Coach Adam Gase understands how important Bell is to his offense, giving quarterback Sam Darnold a versatile playmaker out of the backfield. And from where Gase is watching, he sees a guy who is ready to play. "It's his body demeanor and the way he's attacking the defense," Gase said. "Those guys know the difference between how a guy is going to (practice). Either we're thudding up and they're wrapping up and then when they see him start getting lower and accelerating toward them, they know, OK, he's looking to do some damage here." The Jets have increased Bell's workload in practices the past couple of weeks, and he has been running well. Still, the running back knows the real test won't come until he touches the ball for the first time against Buffalo on Sept. 8. "Obviously, it's still practice," Bell said. "I know once I get to the game it's going to be a little different. But that's something I'll adjust to. I've been playing football my whole life." Bell has been talking to Gase all summer about the plan for how he'll be used in practice and in preseason games. Gase announced last weekend that Bell will be held out of games until the regular season, a scenario with which the running back says he's "completely fine." "It's going to come," he said. "I don't think four plays of the preseason is going to help me for Week 1 in the game." That doesn't mean Bell isn't itching to get on the field. "I really hate watching Sam play," Bell said with a smile. "I just want to be in there with him because I know how special he is and I want to play with that. "Obviously, I know everybody's eager to watch me play. I'm eager to play." That's evident in the way Bell has prepared for the first two preseason games, dressing in full uniform despite knowing he won't see the field. "Yeah, he's out there in pregame with the pads on and dancing around and he's like, 'Let's go, guys! Come on! Get fired up!'" Darnold said with a big grin. "I'm like, 'Bro, you're not even playing. Once you start playing, you can start doing that stuff.' Nah, he's been great." Bell acknowledged that this year's season opener will be different from any he experienced during his previous stint with the Steelers. He knows all eyes will be on him — including those of his coaches and teammates. "I'm excited that when we get the opportunity and it's go-time for him, I can't wait to see what he does on a Sunday," Gase said. "Watching him in practice, that's fun enough. You can tell the guy is a special player and to see him on Sunday, that's going to be fun." NOTES: LG Kelechi Osemele (pectoral), RG Brian Winters (shoulder) and WR Jeff Smith (hamstring) remain sidelined. ... RT Brandon Shell (knee) returned to team drills after missing a few days. ... LB Blake Cashman (shoulder/leg) was limited after sitting out practice since getting hurt in the preseason opener......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News8 hr. 10 min. ago

MPBL: Nimes, Teng and Manalang step upi to give Pasig big road win

The Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors thwarted a determined Quezon City Capitals WEMSAP with a 91-82 victory in Wednesday night's main clash of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. The crowd at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Seed Dome witnessed the Realtors obtain bragging rights over Corinthian Gardens in a game that saw great offensive performances, but was soured by an ill-tempered ending. The game was played in JCSGO instead of QC's usual home court, the Blue Eagle Gym. Pasig enjoyed big nights from three of their stars, with Robbie Manalang pumping in 22 points, Josan Nimes contributing 18 points and 6 assists, and Jeric Teng providing 17 markers as the club goes to 6-5. Black topscored for the Capitals with 21, followed by Santos with 16. Quezon City's record is now 6-4. "(We won because) we had a sense of urgency. It was the way we practiced after the loss (to Batangas last week). We put in the hard work," said Nimes.  Both offenses were in a rhythm in the first half as Pasig led QC 51-45 after 20 minutes. In the third the Capitals twice got to within two on a pair of Tweety Santos buckets but at the end of the period Pasig still had the advantage, 68-62. Santos and Mark Carongoy began the fourth with triples to tie the game but Teng answered with a triple of his own to spark a 15-3 run that put Sta. Lucia back in the driver's seat, 83-71. Tonino Gonzaga and Aaron Black put up some resistance to get to within 9, 87-78, but another Teng three-bomb in the last 3 minutes was the dagger to give the visitors an unassailable 90-78 lead. Teng was dribbling the ball out with mere seconds to go when QC's Joco Tayongtong rashly hacked at him. The former UST Growling Tiger took exception to the contact, and barked out at Tayongtong. Tayongtong was slapped a regular foul and both players, and members of the staffs of both teams were given offsetting technicals. Since Teng had fouled out, Pasig sent in Tristan Medina for the charities. After missing the first, QC player Jonathan Boholano appeared to chirp aggressively at the Pasig bench, drawing a technical and reigniting the hard feelings. Medina seemed to deliberately miss the next two free throws and Sta Lucia played no defense as QC scored an uncontested lay-up as time ran out. There were no handshakes between the two sets of players after. In the second match-up of the evening Makati Super Crunch stunned the Pampanga Giant Lanterns - ADG Group of Companies with a come-from-behind 96-94 win. The hero for Makati was Kib Montalbo, who produced two nearly-identical 17-foot jumpers, one to knot the game at 94-all with 27 seconds left and another to win it as time expired. The Giant Lanterns controlled the game for much of the second half and with four minutes left in the final quarter led 92-82 thanks to a Reil Cervantes triple and a split from the line from Mark Cruz. But triples from John Rey Villanueva and Josh Torralba, plus a lay-up from Joseph Sedurifa, helped Super Crunch claw to within two at 94-92, setting up Montalbo for his game-winning clutch baskets. The ex-Green Archer contributed only five points for Makati, but Josh Torralba hung up 27 points, a career record, to lead all scorers. Pampanga's John Maiquez led his club with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Pampanga coach Bong Ramos will rue the fact that his side had five players in double digits and still lost. Makati's slate is a gaudy 7-1 while Pampanga goes to 6-4. The match day opened with the Caloocan Supremos - Victory Liner coasting to a 90-75 victory against Paranaque Patriots - Yabo Sports. Almond Vosotros left spectators slack-jawed with a mammoth 35-point outing, shooting 12 for 16 from the field and 6 for 9 from three-point land. It's a new career-high for the former DLSU star. Incredibly he was also able to dish out 7 assists and 4 steals. Caloocan led by as much as 26 in the game and won all three quarters comfortably. Only late garbage time production from the Patriots kept the score respectable. Damian Lasco continued his fine form for Caloocan with 13 points. Yabo Sports did, however enjoy a breakout game from James Abugan, who came up with 23 points, more than quadruple his average for the season. The Supremos level their record at 5-5 while Paranaque go to 3-7......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News8 hr. 10 min. ago

PVL: Pagod na pagod -- Gonzaga on back-to-back 5-setters

PacificTown Army star Jovelyn Gonzaga is living up to her moniker as the ‘Bionic Ilongga’. Less than 24 hours after a grueling five-set match in a different tournament, Gonzaga’s endurance and heart went to the test once again, this time with the Lady Troopers coming back from two sets down including a record-setting opening frame to down ChocoMucho on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. Gonzaga led PacificTown Army to a 39-41, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-12, win to remain unscathed in two outings. The lefty Guimaras native displayed an all-around game and played her heart out despite seeing action in a draining five-set decider with Cignal in the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference semifinals against Petron. “Pagod na pagod pero wala, high morale ako kasi puro panalo,” said Gonzaga, who just came back from a two-year hiatus following a knee injury. “Yun na lang ang attitude ko. High morale talaga ako, wala akong iniisip na iba.” Gonzaga displayed her vintage form as she finished with 24 points with all but one coming off attacks. The 27-year old former national team standout also contributed well on floor defense with 26 digs and 16 excellent receptions in the two-hour, 46-minute duel. Army allowed the opposite spiker to play in both leagues and as a way of giving back, Gonzaga vowed to give her 100% effort every game for the Lady Troopers. “Ang lagi ko ngang sinasabi gusto kong mag-give back sa coaches na nag-iintindi sa akin,” said Gonzaga, who in the Reinforced Conference helped PacificTown Army capture the bronze in the squad’s first stint in the league. “Kasi siya (coach Kungfu Reyes) grabe yung pag-intindi niya sa akin, hindi niya ako binubugbog sa training,” said Gonzaga. “Ito naman yung way ko paano ako makabalik ng tiwala.” Gonzaga will rest tonight, knowing that she accomplished her task for the day for the Lady Troopers. On Thursday, she’ll be back in action for her other club team.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News20 hr. 44 min. ago

Column: FedEx Cup about the money, not the majors

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — The FedEx Cup is still about the money. Whoever wins this week at the Tour Championship gets $15 million, more than Greg Norman's career earnings on the PGA Tour. The FedEx Cup might one day be as much about prestige. Tiger Woods (twice), Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk won the first four FedEx Cup titles, and all four will be in the World Golf Hall of Fame if they're not in already. The last four winners were Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. That's good company to keep. The FedEx Cup was never about major championships. Woods is absent from East Lake, this time not by choice but because he didn't qualify. It stands out because of his last two victories, Nos. 80 and 81, both in Georgia. The first was the Tour Championship, the most electric moment in golf all of last year. Woods won at East Lake to cap a remarkable return from four back surgeries, a DUI arrest stemming from his reliance on painkillers and his own fears that he would never compete again. Memories would be a lot stronger if he were here. Instead, he becomes the seventh player to win the Tour Championship and not be eligible to return the following year during the FedEx Cup era. Should he be at East Lake? It seems that way because of his other victory, this one in April at Augusta National, as captivating as any of his 15 majors. Woods said Sunday at Medinah when his season officially ended that he was disappointed and he wished he could be at East Lake. But he hardly was torn up over it, for one reason. "I'm the one with the green jacket," he said of winning the Masters. He also has company. British Open champion Shane Lowry didn't make it to East Lake, either. He has a claret jug at home in Ireland to console him. This is the fifth time in 13 years of the FedEx Cup that at least two major champions were not at the final event, usually with extenuating circumstances involved. Five major champions who didn't make it to East Lake were not PGA Tour members, three of them in 2010 — Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer. The last time was in 2016, when Masters champion Danny Willett and British Open champion Henrik Stenson fell short. Willett didn't become a PGA Tour member until after he won the Masters. Stenson had a knee injury he wanted to protect for the Ryder Cup and wound up playing just two playoff events. Given their stature, it would seem the majors should get more FedEx Cup points than a measly 20% bump. For example, Woods received 600 points for winning that little invitational at Augusta National. That's only 100 points more than Kevin Tway got for winning the Safeway Open. Could it be more? Sure. Does it need to be? Not necessarily. Would anyone even be talking about major champions not being at East Lake if not for Woods being one of them? Because while the PGA Tour has drastically changed its season with the FedEx Cup format, what hasn't changed is what matters — winning majors. The reward for capturing a Grand Slam event is worth far more than having a tee time at East Lake and a chance to win $15 million. Besides, it's not like Woods and Lowry didn't have the opportunity. Woods played only six times after he won the Masters — three times he failed to make the cut, the other three he was a combined 39 shots behind the leader — and finished the season with 12 events. Lowry played 14 times, a product of having only conditional status at the start of the year. He had middle-of-the-pack performances at two playoff events. He finished 57 points short of East Lake, which equates to being two shots better at Liberty National and at Medinah. "I think what it says is that it's really hard to get to Atlanta and the Tour Championship," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. "You've got to play exceedingly well over the course of an entire season. And with volatility, there's risk." The volatility refers to the playoff events offering four times as many points. If any change should be considered, perhaps triple the value would do the trick. Or the tour could double the points for the first event and triple the points for the next one. It really doesn't matter. The majors are over. Names are etched on silver trophies and in golf lore. The FedEx Cup is merely an end-of-the-year competition to keep golf compelling and to give the PGA Tour season a definitive end. It hasn't done any harm. If anything, it has kept the best players competing against each other after the majors. And they all get rich when it's over. Total bonus money for the 30 players who made it to Atlanta is $46 million. That's what they will be chasing over the next four days. Woods and Lowry now can only look behind them. The view is just as sweet......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2019

Bayern held 2-2 at home by Hertha in Bundesliga opener

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — After agreeing to sign Brazilian winger Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, Bayern Munich was held to 2-2 by Hertha Berlin in the opening game of the Bundesliga on Friday. Bayern's inability to break down what looked like a shaky Hertha defense aptly illustrated its need for a player like Coutinho. "We're very happy that we can bring this player to Bayern," sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told broadcaster ZDF after the game. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for the seven-time defending champion, but Bayern failed to make the most of its chances and will rue the setback after Hertha capitalized on two mistakes to score twice in a three-minute period. "We should have scored the goals. We had good chances and 11 corners to none. We were also unlucky. Games can go like that but I'm optimistic," Salihamidzic said. Lewandowski did not have to wait long before opening his league account in the 24th minute, sliding in to convert Serge Gnabry's cross after Joshua Kimmich was given plenty of space to surge through the middle. A rout looked possible as Hertha's defense continued to look shaky, but club record signing Dodi Lukebakio struck against the run of play in the 36th for the visitors, the Belgian's shot from distance taking a big deflection off Vedad Ibisevic's back to give Manuel Neuer no chance. Lukebakio scored a hat trick against Bayern while on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf last season. Marko Grujic stunned the home fans when he made it 2-1 three minutes later, winning a duel against Benjamin Pavard before running onto a through ball from Ibisevic and rounding Neuer to score. "A bit surprising," Germany coach Joachim Löw said of the halftime scoreline. Bayern started the second half as it had the first, before VAR intervened after Grujic dragged Lewandowski's shirt from behind and the striker fell. Lewandowski dusted himself off to equalize from the spot on the hour mark. Bayern coach Niko Kovac congratulated counterpart Ante Covic after making his league debut in charge of the visitors. "The 2-2 is OK, we're happy to take it," Covic said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019

Return of the Mac-killer: Nate Diaz ends hiatus at UFC 241

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The mostly empty arena rumbled with outsized excitement when Nate Diaz stepped onto the stage. The fans erupted into cheers while Diaz lit a joint and took a big drag before doing a little shadowboxing for the cameras. Even before he said a word at his open workout four days before UFC 241, Diaz showed he can captivate an audience like no active fighter in the mixed martial arts world. Fighters can train for almost every skill in the game except charisma, and the Diaz brothers are laden with it. The younger Diaz (19-11) returns from a three-year hiatus on Saturday night, taking on Anthony Pettis in his first bout since his two showdowns with Conor McGregor in 2016. A heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic is the main event, but many fans at Honda Center and around the world will be watching mostly to see what Diaz does next. "I'm here as a businessman and a natural born killer," Diaz said. "I'm here to get the job done, and he's the guy to do it on, so there's no problem. It's all good with me. I'm just here to kill and stay alive for the weekend." Diaz and his older brother, Nick, receive a level of adulation in the MMA world that exceeds even their considerable accomplishments. It's difficult to explain the Diaz appeal to observers who don't have a full historical perspective on the pugnacious, thoughtful brothers' omnipresence in their sport's attitudes and images during the past 15 years, even when they weren't competing very often. Their swashbuckling attitude, angry disregard for authority, profane words of wisdom and athletic fighting styles all appeal tremendously to many people who support a young sport that's still seen as repellent counterculture by a big segment of mostly aging sports fans. Put it this way: A 22-year-old Nate Diaz once completed a submission finish with his legs while simultaneously thrusting two middle fingers in the air. You might love that or hate it, but you have an opinion. "That's the way I've been from Day One," Diaz said. "It's going to stay this way, too, until I'm 100 years old. I'm the Don of all this. If anybody is going to step in this room and say they're the (butt)-whipper, I beg to differ." Even Anthony Bourdain, the late traveler and gourmand, famously filmed a segment with Nick and Nate for his CNN show on Los Angeles, not because the Northern California natives knew much about LA and its cuisines — other than the best weed, probably — but simply because Bourdain, a jiu-jitsu practitioner and MMA fan, was fascinated by the brothers' outlaw ethos. Some of the brothers' behavior seems performative, but some of it isn't: Both Nick and Nate have essentially walked away from the UFC for long stretches of their prime, turning down countless millions in prize money because they refused to compromise what they considered to be their principles. Diaz split two tremendously entertaining matchups with McGregor and became one of the UFC's biggest stars in 2016, but he is 34 years old now, and Saturday's fight will be only his fifth since November 2013. Diaz said he felt mistreated by the UFC, although he struggles to explain how its persistent attempts to book one of its most popular fighters constitute disrespect. Diaz turned down matchups worth millions, including a probable shot at Georges St. Pierre, and he lost a chance to return last year when future champ Dustin Poirier was injured before their bout. Diaz also said he doesn't fight for money. He and his brother, Nick, who hasn't fought in nearly five years, are busy with Nick's thriving gym in their native Stockton, California. Nate said they've also got a successful CBD business, to absolutely nobody's surprise. "They've been trying to degrade me the whole time I've been out," Diaz said. "They're trying to put me low on the card against not very big names. They also tried to give me huge names, but those fell through. It don't matter. I believe I'm the main event in any event they've got. They'll do the best they can to keep me from that." Diaz's complaints are more likely a distilled version of that everyone-is-against-me mentality that drives so many athletes. But he was tempted back by a matchup with Pettis, who nurses a grudge against Diaz that apparently isn't mutual. Diaz dismissively refers to Pettis as "this Wheaties box" in reference to Pettis' former endorsement deal with the cereal, but has mostly ignored Pettis' pointed criticisms. Diaz won't say whether he plans to fight again, or whether he would like his first UFC title shot since 2012. He will stick to his own timetable and goals while nursing the same attitude that kept him on top of the UFC star pyramid even during three years away. "No one on the roster for the last three years even read the blueprints," Diaz said. "I'm right there. Why don't you go take it? And nobody did, and tomorrow, if some of these young guys say they're going to step up and take my position, I'm not with that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019

Naomi Osaka s knee injury brings uncertainty to US Open

By Joe Kay, Associated Press MASON, Ohio (AP) — Naomi Osaka felt a strange sensation in her left knee, different than anything she'd experienced. The U.S. Open champion left the court worried about whether she'll be in shape to defend her precious title. Osaka retired from her quarterfinal match at the Western & Southern Open on Friday, unsure what's going on in the knee. She expected to get an MRI. For now, the player currently ranked No. 1 in the world is concerned about her chances of making another deep run in New York. "Last year, I won the U.S. Open," she said. "This year, I'm trying to play the U.S. Open." The problem came out of the blue. Osaka split two sets with Sofia Kenin. She felt something unusual in the knee while serving early in the third set. After a timeout to have it examined and wrapped, she played a couple more points before retiring. "I have no idea what's going on," she said. With that, Kenin advanced to the semifinals for the second straight week. During her run to the semifinals in Toronto, she knocked off then-No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, an upset that allowed Osaka to move up to the top ranking. Barty is in position to snatch it back heading into the Open. She beat Maria Sakkari 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 with an encouraging all-around effort. "Still not quite there, but we're getting better and better each match," the French Open champion said. "I think that's the beauty of being able to stay alive in the tournament is to give myself an opportunity to keep getting better. I think I'm still aiming to obviously do very well here, but the big picture is New York in 10 days' time." She needs some work on those first sets, though. Barty got ahead 5-2 in her opening set and got sloppy, letting it slip away. It was the second straight day that Barty rallied after dropping a first set. She fought off a match point during a three-set win over Anett Kontaveit on Thursday, showing poise that she'd need to draw upon again a day later. "There is certainly no panic, where it gets to the stage where I'm kind of overwrought or can't think straight," she said. "I'm still able to, more times than not, have the ability to relax and kind of stay clear and come back to what works." Barty will face Svetlana Kuznetsova, who reached her first semifinal of the season by beating third-seeded Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3. Kuznetsova is playing only her ninth event after missing the start of the season because of a knee injury. On a hot, humid afternoon, she got treatment for tightness in her upper right leg after the second set and twice again during the final one. On the men's side, qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew because of illness, sending David Goffin into the semifinals. Nishioka had a good tournament showing, beating sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori — a player he called his hero — and Alex De Minaur to reach the quarterfinals. Goffin will face Richard Gasquet, who advanced with a three-set victory over Roberto Bautista Agut. Gasquet had groin surgery in January and fell to No. 68 in the ATP rankings on July 29, his lowest in nine years. He's back in an ATP Masters 1000 semifinal for the first time since 2013 in Miami. Seven-time champion Roger Federer was upset Thursday, leaving Novak Djokovic as the only high seed left in the bracket......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

NCAA: Perfect CSB gets put to the test in must-see match-ups from August 13 to 16

These are the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament games from August 13 to 16 all of us just CAN NOT miss! TUESDAY, 12:00 p.m., Braves vs Jr. Blazers Don’t look now, but Arellano is right up there in the standings of the NCAA Jrs. Still, the Braves need a statement win to announce their arrival and what better way than to take down last year’s runner-up in LSGH. At the same time, though, the Greenies are nothing but determined to bounce back. Something’s gotta give. The Braves and the Jr. Blazers do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. THURSDAY, 12:00 p.m., Jr. Altas vs Red Cubs Perpetual started the season with back-to-back wins against the NCAA Jrs.’s top two teams in recent history – Mapua and then LSGH. Since then, however, the Jr. Altas have struggled and it would be a tall task for them to get one more over another longtime powerhouse in San Beda. The Jr. Altas and the Red Cubs do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. THURSDAY, 2:00 p.m., San Sebastian vs Letran Age-old rivals meet again when fully loaded Letran takes on high-octane San Sebastian. There is no doubt this would be a good game as the two teams are nothing but hungry for a convincing victory that would get them back on track. The stars will be out for this showdown as Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller get pitted against RK Ilagan and Allyn Bulanadi. The Golden Stags and the Knights do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. THURSDAY, 4:00 p.m., Perpetual vs San Beda Frankie Lim takes on San Beda. That will always be the storyline when daring Perpetual challenges the three-peat champion Red Lions. The Altas and the Red Lions do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. FRIDAY, 12:00 p.m., Jr. Blazers vs Jr. Pirates LPU seems poised to finally break through to its first Final Four in school history, but first, it has to proves it belongs. The Jr. Pirates’ latest opportunity to do that, however, would have to come against an LSGH side which is on a quest of its own to prove it remains a force to reckon with. The Jr. Blazers and the Jr. Pirates do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. FRIDAY, 4:00 p.m., CSB vs LPU CSB has been on a roll in the earlygoing of the NCAA 95, but now standing in its way is an LPU crew which has gone smooth sailing as of late. Two of the top three teams in the tournament go at it in what is certain to be an entertaining matchup between the new-age powerhouse Pirates and the dangerous upstart Blazers. The Blazers and the Pirates do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 12th, 2019

Boracay robbery suspect returns stolen money, apologizes for crime

AKLAN, Philippines – A robbery suspect in Boracay Island returned the money he had taken from a money changer shop  owned by a Korean national, even though he would still likely serve time for his crime. Police didn't know the suspect's identity until Leandro Toledo Sarito decided to give back the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 10th, 2019

ONE Championship: Edward Kelly takes blame for letdown against Xie Bin

Hard-hitting Filipino featherweight Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly admitted that he only has himself to blame for losing to "The Stalker" Xie Bin at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES. It was a back and forth affair between the Team Lakay stalwart and the Chinese athlete, but it was the latter who got the better of the exchanges as he nullified Kelly's striking with his takedowns. The bout came to a halt when Xie landed a series of unintentional elbows to the back of the head, prompting the referee to give Kelly time to recover. Moments later, after Kelly could not continue, the match went to the judges, who all awarded the Xie his eighth straight win in ONE Championship. “I was 100 percent confident that I was gonna win, but that happened. I went there knowing how ready I am but again, there are still a lot of holes in my game that I can’t quite fill,” Kelly admitted. “I know my weakness. In the gym, we always work on that and I know that I’ve improved. But come fight night, it still happens.” Kelly’s latest loss was his second in four bouts. More than sharpening his skillset, “The Ferocious” believes that it is his mind that needs to be stronger. “Maybe I need to work on my mentality and reactions,” Kelly said. “We have the same way of training, that’s why I’m confident with my conditioning, but I guess it’s still in my mentality cause after grappling for a bit, I lose wind.” Nonetheless, Kelly remained in high spirits. All he knows is that he needs to have a bulletproof mentality as he looks to work his way back up the rankings and maybe get a rematch with his latest conqueror. “It’s all mental now. If there are any problems, then I’ll adjust,” Kelly said. “Of course I want the rematch. I’m not satisfied with how I lost.” Tune in to watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, by downloading the ONE Super App. The action starts Friday, 16 August at 6:30pm local time.     More from ONE Championship: Xie Bin Picks Up Technical Decision Win In Kelly’s Backyard Top 5 Highlight From ONE Warrior Series 7 Danny Kingad Admits ‘Bittersweet’ Feeling, But Ready For Demetrious Johnson    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

PBA Finals By the Numbers: Who can stop Terrence Jones?

Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals went the way of TNT. It wasn’t even close. The top-ranked KaTropa demolished San Miguel Beer Sunday at the Big Dome, taking an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 titular showdown. As per customary in the PBA Finals, By the Numbers is back. Let’s break this one down.   7 Total number of triples connected by TNT in the opening quarter of these Finals. The KaTropa hot right from the start, using a barrage from rainbow country to create early separation from the Beermen. TNT ended up with 13 triples in Game 1, definitely slowing down after a hot first quarter. But the work was doen and the KaTropa have a 1-0 lead for it.   16 Total points for Terrence Jones in the first quarter. The leading Best Import candidate wasted little time announcing his presence in these Finals, dominating in the first 12 minutes to help TNT score a Game 1 knockout. Jones finished with 41 points in the win on top of 12 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks.   4 At least four individual defenders from the Beermen took on Jones one-on-one in an effort to slow the TNT import down. San Miguel started with Christian Standhardinger on Jones, then Arwind Santos took on the assignment. The first quarter wasn’t even done when Kelly Nabong tried to give it a go before Chris Ross took it upon himself to guard Jones. Safe to say, at least for Game 1, San Miguel defenders got waxed by Jones in a sensational performance. How can the Beermen adjust for Game 2? That we’ll find out.   20 Total unanswered points for TNT in the first to second quarters of Game 1 that completely turned the tide in their favor. Down 17-19, the KaTropa unloaded 18 straight points to end the opening period to take a 35-19 lead. They then scored the first basket of the second quarter to complete their run and they never looked back, cruising for a 13-point victory.   9 Total turnovers for San Miguel import Chris McCullough. The Beermen had a lot of problems in Game 1, including lack of local support aside from June Mar Fajardo. But if San Miguel will be forced to rely on McCullough, who is still scoring almost at will in these playoffs, the least that could happen if for him to limit his turnovers and not disrupt his own team’s momentum. The Beermen had 18 turnovers in Game 1, half from their import. Game 2 is on Wednesday at the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

AP source: Carter returning to Hawks for 22nd NBA season

By Paul Newberry, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Vince Carter is putting off retirement for at least one more season. With that, he’ll claim the longest career in NBA history all to himself. A person familiar with the situation confirmed that Carter has agreed to terms on a one-year contract to return to the Atlanta Hawks for his record 22nd season. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The 42-year-old Carter never wavered in his desire to play with someone this season. He is tied with Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis and recently retired Dirk Nowitzki — all of whom played for 21 seasons — for the longest career in NBA history. “Just waiting for the right opportunity,” he said on a recent conference call to discuss the upcoming Jr. NBA Global Championship, when questioned by a reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Nothing has changed as far as that goal and that dream of mine.” The deal was first reported by ESPN. Essentially an extra coach during his first season with the Hawks, Carter served as a mentor to some of the NBA’s most promising young talent, including point guard Trae Young and forward John Collins. This year, the Hawks added first-round picks D’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, giving the team two more players who will surely benefit from Carter’s experience and leadership. Carter also showed last season that he’s still got some hoop skills. He was a valuable member of the playing rotation on a rebuilding team, playing in 76 games with nine starts, averaging 17.5 minutes and 7.4 points per contest. While Carter is likely to get less playing time after the additions of Hunter and Reddish, the Hawks wanted him back and finish off what is expected to be a 14-man roster this season. Carter entered the league in 1998 — the same year Young was born — as the fifth overall pick out of North Carolina. He sparked a wave of “Vinsanity” in Toronto, where his high-flying style made him one of the league’s top players. He began a run of 10 straight seasons where he was selected to the All-Star Game appearances and averaged more than 20 points a game. Carter was dealt to New Jersey in a blockbuster trade early in the 2004-05 and spent nearly five seasons with the Nets. Since then, he bounced around to Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis and Sacramento before landing in Atlanta last season. The only blemish on his resume is the lack of an NBA title, which isn’t likely to change in Atlanta. The Hawks, who are in the midst of a total roster makeover focused on young talent, went 29-53 last season and are again pegged as a longshot to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. After reporting for training camp a year ago in Atlanta, Carter said he still feels like a 20-something when a new season rolls around. “This is like I’m in my third, fourth, fifth year,” he said. “I’m excited about the opportunity. I’m excited about playing. I still love playing. I still love competing. I still enjoy the traveling, the ups and downs of the league. That’s what it’s all about. It’s hard to let go.” Coach Lloyd Pierce, who is heading into his second season with the Hawks, loved having Carter around to give players such as Young and Collins an extra shoulder to lean on during their transition to the NBA. Pierce is only eight months older than Carter. “When we have our locker room and on-the-bus debates and conversations, he’s on our side,” Pierce joked. “He can relate a little closer to the coaching staff than he can with the players.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang breaks down loss to Eddie Alvarez

Eduard "Landslide" Folayang looked moments away from conquering his most decorated opponent so far in Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez, but it only took one mistake for it to slip away.   The Team Lakay superstar dropped the former Lightweight World Champion early in round one, only to get swept and choked in the opening round at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on 2 August at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   “I think I overdid it. When I saw him go down, I felt like I really wanted to finish him,” Folayang shared.   “I don’t usually give up my back but I lost my cool. I really wanted to finish him in the first round. However, because I wanted to get back up, I lost my position.”   Folayang usually knows what to do when caught in a rear naked choke, but when he stood up he let Alvarez tighten the choke further.   “I had an idea how to defend the choke, but at that time I felt like my mindset changed.”   Folayang admitted that the error did not hit him until the bout was officially over. He knows that his overeagerness to finish got him into trouble and he paid the ultimate price.   “When I saw his face, I know that he was close to being finished,” Folayang said.   “But when the match ended, I was in shock. I really lost focus on the match and singled out the stand-up game,” the Filipino added. “It hurts but we learn from it.”   While many people feel like Folayang’s experience, or lack of it, when it comes to the ground cost him the match, the 35-year-old Filipino hero said that was not the case.   “I don’t think I can be easily submitted when I roll in the ground for jiu jitsu but, things happen in an MMA bout. We’re not really top-notch jiu jitsu practitioners, and we’re not that experienced, but there are things that happen in the match which are beyond your control,” Folayang shared.   “We’re always working on our ground game, but it’s not why we lost today. My mistake was moving in with the wrong mindset. Letting the emotions get the better of me.”   Despite letting a huge opportunity slip, Folayang is quick to move forward from it.    “The results don’t matter anymore. What’s important is that we learned. We’ll be back. We’ll try to fix it. Then we’ll rise again.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris looking forward to playing the LA teams next season

Denver Nuggets' shooting guard Monte Morris is coming off a breakout year during the 2018-2019 NBA season.  The third-year man out of Iowa State averaged career highs of 10.4 points and nearly 4 assists in 24.0 minutes of action per game, helping the Nuggets to surprising second-seed finish and a Western Conference Semifinals appearance.  It was a gigantic leap for the 24-year old who appeared in just 3 games for the Nuggets the previous season. Last year, Morris played in all 82 games.  "Really, I think it was just my hunger to show people that I was playing at this level," Morris said of his rise from a G-Leaguer to a key rotation player on a playoff contender. "I’m not the biggest, I’m not the quickest or the fastest, I just put in the time behind the scenes as much as I could, with film work and working on how I can help the Nuggets all around, staying on the court and making an impact, I think that was the biggest thing for me." Heading into the 2019-2020 season, the Nuggets are once again pegged to be a playoff team, but with the whirlwind of offseason moves, the team from the Mile High City isn't getting too much attention, and Morris says that being slept on is nothing new to the team.  "There’s been a lot of crazy trades in the West, so, not a lot of people are talking about us. It’s nothing new, I know last year we shocked a lot of people. We knew going into training camp - we missed the playoffs by one game the year before - our goal was to make the playoffs, and when we got it rolling real early, the coach was like, ‘Forget making the Playoffs, let’s try to get the 2-seed, let’s try to be a 1-seed!’ and that was our challenge." While other Western Conference teams made noise with their off-season moves, the Nuggets are banking on continuity and chemistry with the core of All-Star Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris all returning to the team next season. Not to mention the addition of forward Jerami Grant, who was acquired from the now-rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder via a trade. "With everybody back and adding Jerami Grant from OKC, it feels like our chemistry is going to be very well and we know what we got to do to get past where we lost last year." With all the new faces and superstar duos in the West, which team is Monte looking forward to playing with the most?  "I’d say both the LA teams. My best friend plays for the Lakers, and I know Paul George and Kawhi have the Clippers," he responded. "I’m looking forward to playing them two the most, but the West is so loaded every single night that we can’t take a game off, because you’ve got Mike Conley, Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, all those guys in the West, every night, it’s going to be a battle." The best friend that Morris is referring to is Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma. Both Morris and Kuzma grew up in the same area in Flint, Michigan.  "Everytime me and him play each other because we try to go at it because we’re from the same part of Michigan, so it’s a good thing to give back to our hometown," Morris shared. "We grew up together, playing on the same AAU teams and everything, going to different camps. Our stories are a little different growing up. Kyle was more of a late bloomer and got his opportunity at Utah, whereas I went and won Mr. Basketball in Michigan an he went Prep, so our stories are a little different, but we always wanted to play in the NBA, and it’s crazy to see it all unfolding now, and when we play against each other, we talk a lot of trash to each other but it’s all love and we know we’re doing it for our bigger cause, and that’s to show that where we’re from, it’s possible." Apart from Kuzma, another Laker that has had an impact on Morris' youth is none other than the team's franchise star LeBron James. Morris shared that LeBron was someone that he looked up to as a kid.  "I would say, growing up, I looked up to LeBron James, for sure. Just the way he grew up with just a single mom and they moved a lot, and he stayed at the top of his game, his mom was his best friend, he didn’t have much of a father figure, like myself in my life, so I took his story and kind of implemented it in my lifestyle and what I stood for, how hard he worked, and I knew that anything was possible." Morris is currently in the Philippines for an NBA 3X event at the SM Mall of Asia on August 3-4, along with NBA legend Muggsy Bogues.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2019

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic withdraws from Rogers Cup

MONTREAL (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Rogers Cup. The Wimbledon winner this month for his 16th Grand Slam title, Djokovic is a four-time champion in the event that rotates between Montreal and Toronto, winning in Montreal in 2007 and 2011. "I'm sorry to announce that I decided to pull out of Rogers Cup," Djokovic said Thursday in a statement. "With the support of my team, I have decided to give my body longer rest and recovery time before coming back again to play. I love Canada and I have many friends there that always make me feel like I'm at home and I'm looking forward to coming back again to play in front of all of you in Montreal." With Djokovic out, Rafael Nadal will be the top seed in the event that opens Aug. 2 at IGA Stadium. Nadal won last year in Toronto. Roger Federer pulled out two weeks ago......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2019

Kawhi was close to signing with Lakers or Raptors until the PG trade

NBA.com staff report After being introduced as a member of the LA Clippers for the first time on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), Kawhi Leonard spoke about his week-long free agency process. In a sit-down with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Leonard said he was "very close" to signing with one of the other two teams he was considering -- the Los Angeles Lakers or Toronto Raptors -- but the lure of playing alongside Paul George sealed the deal for the Clippers. "I was very close. Real close," Leonard said. "But when (the Clippers) presented the opportunity of playing with Paul it was easy, it was a yes. I said let's get it going." Leonard said in his introductory news conference that he has always wanted to play with George, a fellow Southern California native. He followed that statement up with high praise for the six-time All-Star in speaking with Nichols. "This is probably going to be my first time playing with an elite player on his level around the same age as me, same talent," Leonard said. "I'm excited." Some reports claim that Leonard lost interest in the Lakers when former team president Magic Johnson told the media about his meeting with the free agent superstar. Reports also accused Leonard of intentionally taking his time to make a decision in an effort to make the Lakers miss out on other targets in free agency. The reigning Finals MVP denied such cases, telling Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that the leaks from Magic had no effect on his decision and that he never intended "to screw anybody over." "I just feel like that’s just bad karma," Leonard said in reference to manipulating teams. "If they didn’t want to wait for me, they didn’t have to. They had a big opportunity to sign me. I was close, but I ended up on the other side." George, meanwhile, opened up on how he was acquired via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 29-year-old forward says he and the Thunder front office came to a mutual understanding back when George re-signed to a four-year deal in 2018. "This was nothing that came out of the blue," George told Nichols. "The initial plan was to give it another year, see what we could do. I did that. Played another year, and it felt like we were just stagnant. Next thing was, let's go forward and go on with other plans." George said former teammate Russell Westbrook, who was subsequently traded to the Houston Rockets, stood by his decision and was "all for it", per Nichols. With the additions of Leonard and George, the Clippers are expected to be among the top title contenders in the NBA, with both players under contract until at least 2021......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

NCAA 95: CSB stakes spotless slate against winless Mapua

Game on Thursday at Mapua Gym in Manila 4:00 p.m. - Mapua vs CSB College of St. Benilde is a pleasant surprise in the earlygoing of the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, sharing the top spot with defending champion San Beda University. The Blazers want nothing more than to stay there and to do so, would first have to take care of business against a Mapua University that is hungry to give reasons to smile for its home crowd inside its gym in Intramuros, Manila on Thursday. Even more, the Cardinals are hungry for that first win in the season and they go all-out for that starting at 4:00 p.m. As always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. An equally massive matchup is the Jrs. duel between the visiting Jr. Blazers and the home team Red Robins at 2:00 p.m. This is actually a rematch of the last year's Finals which saw the red and gold take the trophy back home inside the Old City. For the first time ever, the best and brightest young talent in the country will be on livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang looking to knock out Eddie Alvarez

Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will get a shot at redemption when he takes on his dream opponent, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.    Folayang relinquished the ONE Lightweight World Championship to Japanese grappling legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki at ONE: NEW ERA in March. The Team Lakay athlete will enter the Alvarez bout at a critical time in his career, and a win would likely put him at the front of the line once more for another shot at the belt.    “My journey as a World Champion is like a roller coaster,” said Folayang.    “There are times when I am a World Champion and people look up to me. There are also times when I am defeated, so I will try again to climb the ladder to get the belt back.   “I got it, but lost it again this time. I think the most challenging part is how to get yourself back on the winning track. We are going to start again. That is not something new to us,” he added.     Despite his recent setbacks, Folayang wants to continue to improve his skills and bounce back strong.   “One of the things that I learned in my career so far is to never stop learning and improving as much as possible because you should realize that everyone is aiming to become a [World] Champion,” said Folayang.   “As an athlete, if you start to think that you are good, you will no longer grow. [That is why] as much as possible, I want to learn to be better, sharpen my strengths, and improve my weaknesses.”   Before he puts another digit in the win column though, Folayang will have to go through another former multiple-time World Champion in Alvarez who is in desperate need of a win after losing his ONE debut.   “I think Eddie is a good martial artist – you will not become a World Champion if you don’t have a good approach to being a martial artist,” Folayang said.    “I believe wrestling and boxing are his strengths, but if you’ll look at Eddie’s track record, you will see that almost all his defeats are from high-level strikers – that is his weakness. It’s hard, but I am pushing myself to prepare.”    The Filipino athlete remains optimistic of his chances against the American and is looking to beat him by way of knockout.    “A knockout and submission will always be there if you are in the proper position – that is a given,” he said. “I think it will end in a knockout.”   Fortunately for Folayang, he won’t be facing Alvarez alone as he will have the entire crowd behind him in Manila.   “Having this bout here in the Philippines gives me confidence,” he concluded. “Those are what give me the confidence to face him in this bout – my preparation and the crowd.”   Additionally, ONE Championship is launching special edition merchandise to commemorate the blockbuster Eduard Folayang vs Eddie Alvarez bout which takes place at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES. The commemorative t-shirt will be available for sale at the Mall of Asia Arena on 2 August......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2019

De Guzman willing to sacrifice playing time if needed

Philippine national men’s volleyball team captain John Vic De Guzman is not bothered by critics as long as he’s doing his part for the cause. The very vocal skipper is even willing to give up some precious playing time if needed. De Guzman, who has been with the national team since 2015, said that the squad is still adjusting and looking for the right combination and all of the members in the 20-man pool are still vying for spots to see action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila in November. “This is a team sport naman kumbaga kung individual sport ito, siguro talagang ipaglalaban ko kung ano ang para sa akin,” said the opposite hitter and the Nationals’ team captain since 2017. “Pero this time kasi ‘yun nga healthy competition, kung sino ang deserving at kung sino ang talagang ipasok ng coach na sa tingin ng coaches siya ang magde-deliver sa ganitong specific na game, sa ganitong specific na sitwasyon, why not? Suporta lang kahit anong mangyari.” The Nationals got a taste of international competition with a fruitful stint in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships in Sisaket a few weeks back. The Filipinos captured the bronze medal to boost their morale as they build up for the biennial meet. However, De Guzman and the rest of the squad know that there are still doubters and non-believers that hurled criticisms on the team’s shortcomings. “Sa mga haters, actually maging specific na tayo sa part na yun, nababasa namin siya. Well sa mga players na kagaya namin, nalulungkot kami kasi kumbaga yung sakripisyo na ibinibigay namin hindi naman ito para sa pansarili naming kagustuhan eh. Di naman kami naglalaro sa national team para may ipagyabang or may patunayan na magaling kami individually,” said De Guzman. “Naglalaro kami para maging proud ang sambayanang Pilipino. [Para] yun sa pride ng country natin na malaman ng ibang bansa na may ganito tayong klase ng sistema,” he added But instead of being down, they are taking these criticisms as a challenge to fuel their desire to bring honor and glory to the country that is slowly building its volleyball program to be at par with those in the region.    “Nagiging thankful kami sa kanila kasi nagdo-double time kami and mas tyinatyaga namin na pagbutihan pa para lang baka sakali na maintindihan nila at maunawaan nila yung pinangagalingan namin,” said De Guzman. The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10 and will set up another camp in Japan from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2019