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A grand welcome for the King

Esteemed balladeer and celebrity Martin Nievera is back home with Vicor Music. .....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: thestandard thestandardOct 20th, 2020

Rafa eyes Roger record, 15 years after 1st French Open title

Paris—The undisputed king of clay, Rafael Nadal is one title away from matching Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam record, but 15 years on from the Spaniard’s first French Open triumph he appears more vulnerable than ever at his beloved Roland Garros......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 26th, 2020

2020 king of recruiting crown remains on UP’s head

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. Who was our King of Recruiting in 2019? Find out here. --- From 2007 to 2015, the University of the Philippines only had 13 wins to show in 126 games total. That time is self-deprecatingly called in Diliman as the dark days. Due to that disappointing standing, the Fighting Maroons had the toughest time bringing in recruits. And due to that lack of pieces to the puzzles, they lost even more. Safe to say, State U was stuck in a vicious cycle in the dark days. That’s not to say they didn’t have blue-chip recruits back then as in their time, all of Woody Co, Mark Juruena, Mike Gamboa, Kyles Lao, Jett Manuel, and Mikee Reyes were among the best high school players. Only, a blue-chip recruit or two does not make a team. Fast forward to now and oh, how things have changed. Last year, UP was hailed as ABS-CBN’s King of Recruiting alongside University of the East. “On the strength of the transfers of Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero, the Fighting Maroons… are worthy of the title,” it said then. And the season before that, the maroon and green was also up there with the best of them in terms of recruitment, having brought in the likes of eventual Season MVP Bright Akhuetie, Will Gozum, and Jaydee Tungcab. Indeed, there was nowhere to go but up. That has only continued this year as UP has left no doubt that it is now a force to reckon with in terms of recruitment. Early on, they already had a solid haul in Joel Cagulangan, once the best point guard in high school, and tireless workhorse Malick Diouf. And then, the shock of shocks. As it turned out, Nazareth School of National University stalwarts Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano were going to be Fighting Maroons. Meaning, for the first time in recent history, the most promising prospect coming out of high school is headed to Diliman. Not only that, State U also answered its biggest question heading into next season – the question at point guard, filling in for Jun Manzo. But as it turned out, they weren’t done just yet - no, our friends, they weren’t done just yet. Tamayo and Abadiano’s departure from National U was shocking, without a doubt, but CJ Cansino’s exit from University of Sto. Tomas was even more so. Cansino, against his will, decided to move on from his alma mater since 2015 due to personal reasons. Fortunately for him, he landed on his feet. Now, the Fighting Maroons have ready-made replacement for Rivero as well as a leader in the shades of Paul Desiderio for UAAP 84. And that, our friends, is why we have no choice but to put the 2020 King of Recruiting crown on UP’s head once more. Tamayo and Abadiano are the bluest of blue-chip recruits this year and Cagulangan, Cansino, and Diouf are among the most talented transferees, but also joining them in the maroon and green will be scoring machine RC Calimag from La Salle Green Hills, burly big Miguel Tan from Xavier High School, Filipino-American playmaker Sam Dowd, Filipino-Australian tower Ethan Kirkness, physical forward Jancork Cabahug from University of Visayas, and versatile wing CJ Catapusan from Adamson University. The former Bullpups are guaranteed ato be contributors even as rookies while Calimag, Tan, and Dowd are going to shore up a bench that had just lost Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. Of course, Diouf, Kirkness, Cansino, Cabahug, and Cagulangan are still serving residency, but when they will be eligible, they will get a shot at a squad that will look brand new. All of Bright Akhuetie, J-Boy Gob, David Murrell, Noah Webb, and Rivero are graduating players while Paras is only guaranteed to play one more year. That means that after Season 83, the Fighting Maroons may very well have to fill six spots. That means that UP is not only beefing up for UAAP 83, it is also securing its future. If not for the shock of shocks, though, the crown would have been claimed by De La Salle University which sent a statement that it is back and better than ever. Justine Baltazar and Aljun Melecio may be playing their fifth and final years in college, but the green and white’s future has only brightened following this prolonged preseason. First and foremost, Kevin Quiambao, the third leg in that National U tripod of talent out of high school, has the capability and confidence to follow in the footsteps of Baltazar. Hopefully, he will be eligible for Season 83, but if not, what’s certain is he will be playing in UAAP 84. Alongside him as pieces for the future are super scorers CJ Austria and Emman Galman, all-around swingman Joshua Ramirez, and Filipino-Americans Jeromy Hughes, Kameron Vales, and Philips bros. Benjamin and Michael. Among all those, Jonnel Policarpio, likened to a young Arwind Santos, has the highest upside, but the Fil-Ams have much potential as well. And don’t forget that Evan Nelle, the primetime playmaker from San Beda University, is just getting primed and prepped to take the reins when Melecio leaves. Of course, the caveat here is that we are all in uncharted territory due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis. And in that light, the next season of the UAAP remains far away and a lot could still happen until then. While majority of the local blue-chip recruits have already committed, talents from abroad and transferees from other schools could still come and change the game. With that being said, there remains no doubt that UP and La Salle have made the biggest noise in the offseason. However, it’s not actually the Fighting Maroons or the Green Archers who got the lion’s share of the best graduating players in the 2020 NBTC 24. Yes, that honor belongs to Lyceum of the Philippines University which is finally reaping the rewards of its rising Jrs. program with NCAA 95 Jrs. MVP John Barba and Batang Gilas playmaker Mac Guadana being promoted as full-fledged Pirates. Guadana could do it all and looks like the next great guard in the Grand Old League while fearless slasher is Barba is a perfect complement to him. Add another fiery guard in John Bravo and sweet-shooting big man Carlo Abadeza and LPU has restocked its coffers after losing Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee and Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu. In all though, the 2020 NBTC 24 was dominated by UP… and San Beda. Of the annual rankings’ 15 graduating players, four would be Fighting Maroons and another four would be Red Lions. Yes, San Beda’s grassroots program is back on track with its Jrs. championship core all remaining in red and white. Rhayyan Amsali, ranked no. 1 in the 2020 NBTC 24, is the most college-ready high school player while Justine Sanchez is a long-limbed forward who could turn out to be the next Calvin Oftana, you know, the NCAA 95 MVP. Yukien Andrada, meanwhile, is only continuing to develop his two-way game and Tony Ynot is a 3-and-D weapon who had even left an impression on Jalen Green. And hey, as somebody said, don’t sleep on the UAAP’s three-time defending champions. Ateneo may already be missing Isaac Go, Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt and they may not be making noise as of late, but they are still welcoming Dave Ildefonso and Dwight Ramos with open arms. Ildefonso will only be good to go come UAAP 84, but Ramos is already being seen by head coach Tab Baldwin as a difference-maker for the Blue Eagles in Season 83. Eli, Dwight’s younger brother, is also in the mix to backstop SJ Belangel and Tyler Tio. Note also that former blue-chip recruit Inand Fornilos may very well finally get his shot while both Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano are also back. Ateneo’s foe in the Finals last year also reloaded quite a bit as for the third year in a row, UST will be sending the Tiger Cubs’ best player to the Srs. squad. Following in the footsteps of Cansino and Mark Nonoy, post player Bismarck Lina will be a Growling Tiger next season. Alongside him to fortify the frontcourt are Christian Manaytay, Bryan Samudio, and Bryan Santos while bolstering the backcourt are Joshua Fontanilla and Paul Manalang. Speaking of fortifying the frontcourt, Far Eastern University is the team that got the biggest boost in terms of size. With 6-foot-7 Nigerian Emman Ojoula’s residency over and done with, the go-go guards of the Tamaraws have yet another weapon to burn opponents with. CESAFI MVP Kevin Guibao and transferee Simone Sandagon are no slouches either while Cholo Anonuevo has a roster spot waiting for him if and when he decides to come home after trying his luck in the US. RJ Abarrientos no longer appears here as he was already in FEU’s list last year. These are the new faces to see for the other teams: CSB Blazers LETRAN Knights JRU Heavy Bombers MAPUA Cardinals ADAMSON Soaring Falcons UE Red Warriors --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2020

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang wants Eddie Alvarez rematch

In August of 2019, Filipino mixed martial arts icon and two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang came painfully close to recording what would have been the biggest win of his MMA career when he faced former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez in a high-stakes lightweight matchup.  The winner would earn a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Finals against Turkey’s Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev at ONE: CENTURY in Tokyo, Japan, later that year.  Early in the first round, it looked like Folayang was on his way to Tokyo after chopping Alvarez down with a nasty leg kick that obviously hurt the American star.  What followed suit however, was a heartbreaking turn of events for Folayang, and an impeccable comeback from Alvarez.  Looking to finish Alvarez off, Folayang pounced and began raining down heavy shot after heavy shot. Alvarez meanwhile, covered up and then waited for his opportunity to reverse things. Alvarez flipped Folayang over, took his back, and locked in the rear naked choke for the first-round submission win.  Folayang admitted to rushing things as he was a tad bit too excited to get the finish.  (READ ALSO: WHAT IF: Eduard Folayang had stopped Eddie Alvarez back in 2019?) Now, looking to make his way back up to the top of the lightweight ladder, Folayang hopes to be able to draw another meeting with Alvarez.  “[If I could face anybody], it’s definitely Eddie Alvarez,” Folayang told ONE Championship’s Christian Jacinto. “I want to face him again.” As he had said before, Folayang acknowledges that he could have done a lot of things better in their first encounter.  “Back in our match, I had a lot of regrets, I made a lot of mistakes…If given the chance, I believe my performance would be a whole lot better,” the Team Lakay star stated.  “I definitely got careless in that match. We expected Eddie to be more of a striker, so I was confident when the match hit the ground,” he continued.  Indeed, Alvarez has been known to be a brawler, which has helped him become a crowd favorite during his time in the UFC and in Bellator.  Against Folayang however, Alvarez - who’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Ricardo Almeida - let his grappling and his experience shine.  In the past, Folayang has shown that he can hold his own against some dangerous grapplers, as evidenced by his stunning world title win against former champion Shinya Aoki back in 2016.  Folayang hopes that he can channel that same level of defense again if and when he gets to share the cage with Alvarez again.  “If there would be a rematch, I’d address my issues in the ground, and hopefully, I’ll be better this time around.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2020

ONE Champ Christian Lee open to fight with former titleholder Eduard Folayang

Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee may be young, but he’s proven throughout his career that he won’t back down from a challenge.  In early 2019, the 22-year old jumped up to the lightweight division and survived an early onslaught from grappling ace and former two-time world champion Shinya Aoki to dethrone the Japanese legend and become the new lightweight king.  Later that year, Lee stepped up on short notice to take on surging knockout artist Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev in the finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix. Lee would stifle Dagi and end up winning the tournament.  Now, Lee gets ready to take on all comers as the top dog in one of ONE Championship’s most stacked divisions.  Up next for the Singaporean star is expected to be undefeated Moldovian challenger Iuri Lapicus, who took out Thai veteran Shannon Wiratchai and former featherweight world champion Marat Gafurov to earn a shot at ONE gold.  For Lee however, he’s ready for anyone that steps up to him.  “I will defend my belt against anyone, anytime. The lightweight division is the most stacked division in ONE Championship, so I feel like it will only be right to start with the number one contender and work my way down until my division is cleared out,” Lee told ONE Championship.  While not currently in the top-5 of the lightweight division, former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion and Filipino MMA icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang appears to be on the radar of the champion as well.  “I would love to share the ONE Circle with Eduard Folayang,” Lee shared. “I have a lot of respect for all that he’s accomplished in his career, and I think that we could put on a great show for the fans.” Folayang first captured the ONE Lightweight World Championship back in 2016, stunning the world with an upset win over Aoki, becoming the first man to dethrone the Japanese star. In late-2018, Folayang bested top lightweight contender Amir Khan for the vacant world championship.  “Eduard is a very good striker, and is now rounding out his wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu,” Lee added. “However, I feel that his main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct. He’s the two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion, so he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter.” Another name that Lee mentioned is former UFC Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez, who’s one of the biggest names on ONE’s lightweight roster.  “Eddie [Alvarez] has done enough in his career to make him a legend of this sport, so I would love to share the ONE Circle with him when the time comes. I think that our styles would make for an exciting fight for the fans,” said Lee. Alvarez has split his first two outings under the ONE banner, losing to Russian star Timofey Nastyukhin in his debut before bouncing back and submitting Folayang.  (READ ALSO: WHAT IF: Eduard Folayang had stopped Eddie Alvarez back in 2019?) “I think that Eddie is a very well-rounded mixed martial artist. He has great striking, wrestling, and just recently displayed great Jiu-Jitsu in his last outing against Eduard Folayang. He’s a very complete fighter who does not have too many weaknesses. It would be a big mistake to underestimate his skill set,” Lee continued.  Ultimately, Lee’s plan is to clear out the lightweight division before going back down to featherweight and rekindle an old rivalry against reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.  Lee and Nguyen have crossed paths twice before, with Nguyen coming out on top both times.  “After I successfully defend my belt, I plan on going back down to featherweight to challenge Martin Nguyen for his title,” said Lee. “I am the reigning and undisputed ONE Lightweight World Champion, and also the number one contender in the featherweight division. The only reason I go back down to featherweight will be to fight for the title.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2020

Four champion martial artists who are also champion dads

Father’s Day comes but once a year, and is a time to celebrate the incredible patriarchs in our lives who have guided us through our toughest challenges. They are the foundation of every family, working tirelessly through day and night to make sure the people they love are happy and safe. This Father’s Day, let’s honor the men in our lives who embody strength, discipline, and loyalty. Great fathers provide their children with a feeling of security, both physically and emotionally, but aren’t afraid to let them stumble and fall in order for them to learn the lessons they need to make it through life.  These four men have given their children the gift of martial arts, but more importantly have also proven to be amazing dads. Ken Lee Brazilian jiu-jitsu and taekwondo black belt, Ken Lee, introduced martial arts to his children at a young age because he believes it can help develop them into great fighters, not just in competition, but also in life. Together with his wife Jewelz -- also a champion martial artist -- they’ve raised four incredible children, including reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee. Their two youngest children, Adrian and Victoria, are both on their way to following in their footsteps. Needless to say, martial arts is the family tradition. “Martial arts has always been a way of life for my family,” said Lee. But as much as he is the powerful voice in each of his children’s corners whenever they compete, Lee takes pride in being their father first and foremost. Guiding their careers, he says, is only his second priority. “I will always be their father first and coach second. As a father, the most important thing for me when it comes to my children is their safety and good health, that they are happy and able to live their dreams,” said Lee. Mark Sangiao Filipino martial arts icon Mark “The Machine” Sangiao is a well-known pioneer in the Philippines’ local martial arts community. He is a loving father to two boys, and a father-figure to his students in the famed Team Lakay. Many seek Sangiao out for his wisdom, not just in competing at the highest levels of martial arts, but also for his experience in traversing the hardships of life. The principles he imparts on his two sons, and many young Team Lakay athletes who could very well be considered his own children, have helped guide them down the right path. “As a father, what matters most for me when it comes to my children is providing them what they need,” said Sangiao.  “I’m not just referring to their material or financial needs, but most importantly giving enough attention to their emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It is essential that I can provide these to my children, because these are the very core of their development and formation as good and responsible people.” Sangiao has cultivated and developed many world champions, including former titleholders Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon, as well as ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio. While his eldest son Jhanlo has decided to take after his father in becoming a martial artist, Sangiao says he would support his children regardless of their chosen profession. “I may end up raising a martial artist, a gardener, a businessman, a lawyer -- it doesn’t matter. I will raise them the exact same way. I will support whatever they want to be in life, and what they want for their future. I just want to raise my children to be good, strong, and responsible people,” said Sangiao. Eduard Folayang For two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion and Team Lakay veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, being a father means imparting his wisdom to his children, and helping them become good members of society. Folayang is a proud father to two young girls, and hopes to instill in them the right values and principles. “I think we have to give our children the right principles to live by. They must be strong in both the body and the mind, but also kind and generous,” said Folayang. While he will support his children no matter what they decide to do when they get older, Folayang still plans on introducing them to martial arts, which is what helped turn his life around as a young man raised in hardship and poverty. “Being a father feels great. I do want my children to practice martial arts. It’s a great way of life and will teach them a lot of lessons. I just want them to find their own talents and help make the world a better place,” said Folayang. Danny Kingad Former ONE World Title challenger and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finalist Danny “The King” Kingad is relatively new to fatherhood, with his son Gleurdan Adrian becoming his pride and joy after being born just two years ago.  Being a father, Kingad says, is his single greatest purpose, and he vows to do everything in his power to give his son a good life. “I want to spend every day with my son. It’s important to me to be there for him. I want to help prepare him for the challenges life will bring,” said Kingad. Kingad grew up a troubled youth who fell into bad company and many vices. It wasn’t until he discovered martial arts that his life gained meaning and direction. He hopes to one day introduce martial arts to Gleurdan, when his son is ready. “Martial arts was a saving grace for me, and I learned a lot from training and competing. I would love for my son to learn the core values that martial arts instilled in me when I was younger. I think it will teach him a lot about respect and honor. But of course, I’m here to support my son in whatever he wants to be in life,” said Kingad. “What’s important to me is that he learns to be humble and respectful, and most especially strong, to be able to handle tough times. Having a strong mind is the best asset of a martial artist.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2020

WHAT IF... Perez wasn t suspended for NCAA 94 Finals Game 1

History lesson: After missing out on the Final Four for its first six seasons in the NCAA, Lyceum of the Philippines University made back-to-back trips to the Finals in Seasons 93 and 94. The Season 93 Finals, the school's first-ever, wound up as a heartbreaking loss to eventual champion San Beda University. Memorably, the Pirates won each and every one of their 18 games in the elimination round - the first-ever team to do so in the Grand Old League - before going winless in their last two games. Of course, playoff experience and championship heart proved to be the difference for the Red Lions. In that light, Season 94 should have been a different story for LPU. Only, it wasn't. San Beda yet again swept the upstarts via convincing victories. And from Game 1, the Red Lions already knew it was all over. "Oo naman. Siyempre, mag-iiba laban kung nandun siya," then-King Lion Robert Bolick in last week's The Prospects Pod. "Sa part din namin, wala siya so tapos na. Tapos na yung laban." The "siya" he was referring to? CJ Perez, Season 93 MVP and Season 94 Mythical selection, who was not in action and not even at the venue for the series-opener. Apparently, Perez failed to notify the NCAA about his application for the 2018 PBA Draft and was therefore sanctioned with a suspension for Game 1 of the Finals. But what if he were there - there, ready and raring to play in the opener of the series where he and all of LPU were seeking redemption? The now-26-year-old had no doubt that if that were the case, the Pirates would have put up a much fiercer fight. As he put it, "Siguro, mas ginanahan pa yung mga kasama ko. Nung natambakan na kasi nung Game 1, parang nanginig na yung mga tuhod ng Game 2 eh." Sans Perez, the maroon and grey fell victim to a 19-9 start by their opponents and never recovered. Final score read 73-60 in favor of San Beda. If the 6-foot-2 playmaker were there, Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu would not be their top-scorer as the former had averaged 18.7 points in the prior 18 games. Of course, defensive-minded coach Boyet Fernandez would have also adjusted accordingly and the Red Lions, just like they did in last year's championship round, would have put their full focus on Perez. Still, a full-force LPU side would, for sure, have posed more problems for San Beda. In the end, Mendiola's dynasty would have still have all the answers - what with Bolick and Javee Mocon just playing their best basketball that season. That momentum would then carry over to Game 2 where the Red Lions still sweep the Pirates for their fourth championship in a row. In terms of result, Perez's presence would not have changed a thing. Nonetheless, his being there would have made for much more must-see TV. Also, his being there would not have forced him to just drown his sorrows all by his lonesome. "Ang mindset ko pa rin bago nun, tulog pa rin nang maaga para handa, pero nung sinabi na ngang 'di ako pwede maglaro, sabi ko na lang, 'Hala, ready na ako eh,'" he recalled. He then continued, through chuckles, "Nung araw na yun, nasa dorm ako, nakaupo sa couch, nanood ng laro. Nakailang beer nga ako nun." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2020

WHAT IF: Eduard Folayang had stopped Eddie Alvarez back in 2019?

In August of 2019, the Mall of Asia Arena in Metro Manila played host to arguably one of the biggest matches in ONE Championship lightweight history.  In one corner was Filipino mixed martial arts icon and hometown favorite Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion who was looking to bounce back after dropping the title to Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in Japan earlier that year.  Standing in the opposite corner was American star Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, a former UFC and Bellator Lightweight Champion and one of ONE’s biggest acquisitions in recent memory. Like Folayang, Alvarez was also looking to get back on track after a disappointing KO loss to Timofey Nastyukhin in his ONE debut.  Considered a dream match by ONE Championship fans, Folayang versus Alvarez was billed as East versus West. One of ONE’s pioneers against one of ONE’s newest stars.  As much as the storylines made the match very intriguing, the stakes were quite high as well.  With the semifinals of the then-ongoing ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix doomed by injuries, the Folayang-Alvarez bout was elevated to Grand Prix semifinals status, meaning that the winner would go on to face Turkish knockout artist Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the Finals at ONE: CENTURY.  For Folayang, it was a step towards reclaiming the title that he held at the start of the year. For Alvarez, it was a way to erase the memory of his bitter debut loss and also a step closer towards capturing his third major world championship.  While the Folayang-Alvarez was the third-to-the last bout on the bill, for many of the Pinoy fans in attendance at the MOA Arena that night, it sure felt like the main event.  From the opening bell, the crowd was buzzing, anxious to see of their hometown hero could pull off the massive victory.  Chants of “Folayang! Folayang!” rang through MoA Arena just seconds before the Pinoy connected on a solid counter left hook that definitely got the American star’s attention.  After a flurry of kicks from Folayang, the briefly fell into a nervous silence as Alvarez caught a leg kick and managed to get Folayang to the ground before trapping him in a standing guillotine.  Folayang simply shrugged off the half-hearted submission attempt, much to the delight of the partisan-Pinoy crowd. So far so good for Team Philippines.  A flying knee from Alvarez collided with a spinning back kick from Folayang, which elicited some oohs and ahhs from the crowd, which was ready to go off as soon as their bet landed something big.  Folayang began to pick up steam as he launched strike after strike, throwing kicks, punches, and elbows. It was clear that the Team Lakay star was in control of the stand-up aspect of the fight.  Then, at the 3:37 mark of the first round, the big strike that the fans were waiting for finally came. Folayang, with his massive tree-trunk legs, whipped a right low kick that connected on Alvarez’s left leg, sending the American down to the mat. The way Alvarez sat back down, it looked like he was hurt.  Sensing blood in the water, Folayang went for the kill and began dropping fists as Alvarez tried to defend himself. A failed armbar attempt from Alvarez forced Folayang to reposition himself, moving into side control while still throwing hammerfist after hammerfist.  Then, all of a sudden, Alvarez managed to slip his right hand in between Folayang’s legs and then flip the Pinoy over. Just like that, it was Alvarez who was on top.  Unlike his Pinoy opponent however, Alvarez remained calm and slowly transitioned into full mount. Making things worse, Folayang, likely looking to prevent and ground and pound damage, turned and gave up his back.  Almost immediately, Alvarez sinked his hooks in and flattened Folayang out before locking in a rear naked choke and forcing the Pinoy to tap out.  While he did win, Alvarez would miss out on the Finals anyway after an injury would force him to withdraw as well. As a result, Dagi ended up facing - and losing to - reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee.  Folayang was offered the Finals spot against Dagi, but last-minute visa issues would prevent him from being able to step up.  The loss was quite a painful one to swallow, not just for Folayang, but also for the fans.  Folayang admitted after the fight that he had rushed to get the finish, causing him to be a bit careless and make some costly mistakes.  "I was too eager to get the finish, and I think that’s the mistake, I became impatient, and I wanted to finish him as soon as possible but it didn’t go that way, so, that happened," Folayang explained.  But WHAT IF Folayang hadn’t rushed? Close your eyes and imagine:  After chopping Alvarez down with the leg kick at the 3:37 mark, Folayang pounced and picked his spots, landing some good shots to the head, enough to stun the American and force the referee to step in and stop the fight.  Or, what if instead of pouncing, Folayang allowed the visibly hurt Alvarez to get back up and from there, continued to punish The Underground King’s leg (or legs) en route to a TKO finish.  Folayang would have booked his ticked to the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix Finals. More importantly, Folayang would have been able to add Alvarez to the name of legend’s he’s beaten, and it would have skyrocketed his stock to even greater heights.  Would he have been able to defeat Dagi in the Finale? Of course it was very much possible. At the rate Dagi was knocking guys out up to that point, Folayang would have likely been considered an underdog, but a high-level striker like Folayang is never without his chances.  If Folayang had been able to get past Dagi as well, it would set up a very intriguing matchup between himself and Lee, which could have been a good matchup for the Pinoy star.  Now, Folayang finds himself once again looking to bounce back following a close loss to Dutch striker Pieter Buist.  Still hungry for a third run as world champion, Folayang will need to work his way back to the top of the division.  Who knows? Maybe two or three wins in, Folayang could find himself standing opposite Alvarez once again, with the chance to re-write history. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 27th, 2020

ONE Championship flyweight star Danny Kingad happy, but not satisfied with ranking

ONE Championship’s first official batch of athlete rankings released last month have elicited different reactions from different people.  Some are angry at being left out while others, like former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, are using being snubbed as motivation.  For those who saw their names on the top-5 of their respective division, it’s a testament to their hard work but also a source of inspiration.  Take for example ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finalist Danny “The King” Kingad of Team Lakay.  The young flyweight star is the second-ranked flyweight contender, behind only number one contender and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, and of course reigning titleholder Adriano 'Mikinho' Moraes.  “When I first saw the top five, I thought it was accurate, I think that’s a pretty fair ranking,” Kingad said. “It will show where you truly stand in the division.” Kingad brings up a fair point, given that in his last eight bouts, his only loss came against Johnson. Kingad’s only other loss came back in 2017 against Moraes.  Below Kingad in the rankings are former champion Kairat Akhmetov, Yuya Wakamatsu, and Reece McLaren.  While Kingad could very well be one win away from another title shot, the young star feels as though he still has a long way to go before becoming a champion.  “I feel like I still need to work on a lot of things, need to pursue more, I need more training,” Kingad admitted. “The goal is to win the championship. That’s it. I really need to push harder because I don’t want to be ranked two, or one, I want to be ranked as the champion.” Obviously, Kingad would like another chance to get a win back against Johnson and Moraes, the only two men to beat him in his career so far, but the likely step for the young Pinoy is a matchup with another contender in the top-5, and it just so happens that Kingad has long been angling for a match with Akhmetov.  “One of the guys in the rankings is Kairat, I haven’t faced him yet and I’d like to try myself against him as well,” Kingad said.  “I want to experience his wrestling skills and how strong he is. But it still depends on who they give me. I just want to get better and better. I’ll face whoever,” he added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2020

Players back Federer over WTA-ATP merger idea as Kyrgios hits out

WTA founder Billie Jean King and Rafael Nadal led a wave of support on Thursday for Roger Federer’s suggestion that “now is the time” to merge the men’s and women’s governing bodies, while tennis is at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic. Federer, winner of a record 20 men’s Grand Slam crowns, said a merger […] The post Players back Federer over WTA-ATP merger idea as Kyrgios hits out appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2020

ONE Championship s G.O.A.Ts: Bibiano Fernandes is Bantamweight Royalty

Nearly nine years since ONE Championship's first-ever event back in September of 2011, the Singapore-based promotion has grown into a powerhouse when it comes to martial arts and mixed martial arts in Asia, and a true force on the global stage.  As the company continues to grow, so do the stars, and so do their legacies.  ONE Championship crowned their first batch of champions in October of 2012, with Kotetsu Boku becoming the inaugural ONE Lightweight World Champion and Soo Chul Kim becoming the inaugural ONE Bantamweight World Champion on the same night.  Since then many champions have come and gone, and some have strengthened their places as the Greatest of All Time in their respective divisions, so far.  Today, we take a look at the bantamweight division's G.O.A.T. so far, Brazilian legend Bibiano "Flash" Fernandes. Name: Bibiano Fernandes Moniker: "Flash" Age: 40 Height: 5'7" Weight: 66-KG Professional Record: 24-4 (2 KO/TKO, 8 SUB)   FLASHback Prior to becoming ONE Championship's longest-tenured champion, Manaus-native Fernandes was already a household name in Japan, competing for the now-defunct DREAM promotion from 2009 to 2011. While it was a relatively short stint, during that short time, Fernandes won featherweight and bantamweight grand prix tournaments, and in the process, became the promotion's bantamweight and featherweight world champions.  In 2012, Fernandes made his ONE Championship debut (in the Philippines, no less), defeating Gustavo Falciroli via unanimous decision. Later that year, Fernandes finished up his stint in DREAM with a submission victory.  In 2013, Fernandes returned to the ONE Circle and defeated Kotetsu Okazaki to become the Interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship. Later that year, he unified the titles by defeating ONE's inaugural bantamweight king, Soo Chul Kim, which would mark the start of the longest championship reign in ONE history.    1848 Days of Dominance In his first reign as ONE's bantamweight champion, Fernandes toppled challenger after challenger, beating the best that the division had to offer.  Fernandes decisioned Masakatsu Ueda before submitting Dae Hwan Kim and Toni Tauru in his first three title defenses.  In his fourth title defense, Fernandes faced a challenger that would become all too familiar in the future: Team Lakay's Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon. Fernandes would handily defeat the Pinoy striker by submission in the first round, but that would not be the last time that the two would cross paths.  After dispatching of Belingon, Fernandes defended his title thrice more, edging out Reece McLaren in a five-round war and submitting Andrew Leone in just under two minutes.  In March of 2018, Fernandes was involved in a superfight between then-ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin Nguyen, who was hunting for an unparalleled third simultaneous world championship in as many weight divisions.  Fernandes and Nguyen battled in an epic five-rounder, but in the end, it was Fernandes who prevailed, denying Ngyuen from making even more history.  As Fernandes continued to dispose of challengers, a former challenger in Belingon worked his way back up to the front of the line and earned another shot at Fernandes and the world championship.   The Rivalry Begins In 2018, two years after their first meeting, Fernandes and Belingon shared the cage once again and this time, the FIlipino star walked away with the victory and in the process ending the Brazilian's 14-fight undefeated streak and five-year reign as ONE Bantamweight World Champion.  With the rematch being close, a third installment of the Fernandes-Belingon rivalry was booked for ONE's historic first-ever show in Japan, and while it was meant to provide answers, it caused even more questions after a controversial ending wherein Belingon was disqualified for unintentional illegal strikes to the back of the head, leading to Fernandes regaining the title.  Due to the questionnable ending to their third encounter, a fourth bout was booked at ONE: CENTURY, and this time around, Fernandes left no doubt as he submitted Belingon in the second round to retain the ONE Bantameight World Championship.  Once again, "the Flash" sits atop the bantamweight kingdom as he looks forward to his next challenger.   WHY HE'S THE G.O.A.T. SO FAR: Fernandes, as mentioned earlier, was - and is - ONE's longest-tenured world champion. In his initial run as the bantamweight titleholder, Fernandes held the title for an unprecedented 1848 days, which included seven world title defenses against a veritable who's-who of challengers. Fernandes' first title reign remains longer than the reigns of heavyweight champion Brandon Vera (1592 days), former welterweight king Ben Askren (1517 days), former two-time lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (1316 + 47 days), three-time and reigning flyweight champion Adriano Moraes (435 + 323 + 451 days), and reigning women's atomweight champion Angela Lee (1445 days).    Considering his number of days as champion, number of title defenses, and the level of talent that he's faced and defeated, Fernandes isn't just the bantamweight division's Greatest of All-Time, but there's a strong arguement for him to be ONE Championship's pound-for-pound best of all time. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2020

ONE Championship: Danny Kingad breaks down world title bout between Demetrious Johnson and Ad

Team Lakay star Danny "The King" Kingad has proven that he belongs in the upper echelon of the ONE Championship flyweight division, having faced some of the division's best and even going all the way to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finale last year, losing only to eventual tournament champion Demetrious Johnson.  Kingad is currently working his way back to the title picture, and he's also one of the best people to break down the upcoming ONE Flyweight World Championship bout between two men that he's shared the Circle with, Johnson and reigning titleholder Adriano Moraes.  Brazil's Moraes handed Kingad his first professional loss back in 2017.  The Moraes-Johnson title bout is one of the most highly-anticipated ONE Championship bouts this year, and it pits the division's two best flyweight stars.  Kingad believes that it could be a very competitive bout.  “DJ might be the smaller guy, but he always finds ways. He is really good. Moraes is a bit taller. Their strengths are entirely different,” Kingad told ONE Championship. “We should be looking out for DJ’s game plan against Moraes, particularly how he will close the distance. If Moraes keeps his distance, it could turn out well for him.” Kingad notes that the Brazilian might have the edge in the stand-up department due to his height and reach.  “Adriano will have a reach advantage on the feet. I think if there’s one important thing to note – Moraes is really tall,” "The King" believes however, that the former long-time UFC champion has the speed and strategic advantage.  “However, if DJ cuts the distance, then that advantage will shift, add to it the fact that DJ can take him down. I think DJ has the overall advantage mainly because he’s too quick and he can find angles he can exploit.” If the fight goes to the ground however, Kingad feels good about Moraes' chances. The young Pinoy star was able to experience Moraes' grappling first hand after getting submitted in their title bout back in 2017.  “I like Adriano’s chances on the ground, that’s his specialty. That’s where he is really dangerous. If DJ makes a mistake, I think Adriano has the tools to capitalize on it.” Overall, Kingad expects to see fireworks between the two top stars.  “This is a tough, tough fight. I wish them both well.”    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2020

Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas 2.0?

Since program’s inception, Gilas Pilipinas has been the name associated with the Philippine men’s basketball team. It gave the national team the identity it has used for a decade already. Gilas has gone through many iterations, but the current lineup, regardless of who the players are, only go by the general “Gilas” term. But early in the program’s history, each team went by a specific number, unofficially used by pretty much everyone to distinguish the teams that competed in different tournaments. It made sense too, since each team had a completely different identity. In later years, Gilas has improved in using the program as a way to ensure national basketball continuity. Nevertheless, each of the earlier Gilas versions had their success and failures. Here’s what happened to each of them.   Whatever happened to Gilas 2.0? Main tournament: 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships @ Manila, Philippines Prize: 3 tickets to the 2014 FIBA World Cup Result: Silver medal + World Cup berth (beat South Korea in semis, lost to Iran in gold medal game) Head coach: Chot Reyes Gilas 2.0 was the second time Chot Reyes handled the Philippine national team. The first time he did it, Coach Chot’s squad only managed 9th in the 2007 FIBA-Asia Championships in Japan. Six years later in Manila, Reyes is back at it again, and with some players from his 2007 team joining him too. Gilas’ silver-medal finish in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships and ensuing FIBA World Cup appearance in 2014 is Coach Chot’s best run as national team coach. Reyes would return to coach the national team in late 2016 before resigning for good in 2018. The Players: #4 Jimmy Alapag Alapag is back for a second straight stint with Gilas Pilipinas and this is the team where Jimmy carves out his legacy as one of the best national team players ever. In the semifinals against long-time nemesis South Korea, Alapag would hit the biggest shot in program history, pushing the Philippines to its first World Cup appearance in years. [Related: FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World] Once in the World Cup, Jimmy would once again hit the big shot to give Gilas its first World Cup win in four decades with an overtime decision against Senegal. Jimmy has since retired twice from basketball. He won the ABL title as head coach for San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the 2018 season. #5 LA Tenorio Tenorio already gave a glimpse of what he can do in the national team one-year prior, leading Gilas Pilipinas to the Jones Cup championship while winning MVP honors. In his first Gilas experience, LA started most games at point guard and was the Philippines’ best two-way option at the position. Together with Alapag and Jayson Castro, Tenorio formed perhaps the best point guard rotation in program history. After Gilas 2.0, it would be years for LA to make it back to Gilas, but once he did, he got a 2019 SEA Games gold medal to show for it. Tenorio just won another title with Barangay Ginebra, their fourth since 2016. #6 Jeff Chan Gilas 2.0 was flanked by shooters all over and the best one in Manila was Jeff Chan without a doubt. It’s not like Chan was a complete unknown when he was selected to Gilas, he did win Finals MVP for Rain or Shine in 2012. However, Chan wasn’t exactly tested when it comes to national team play. He got tested, and he passed with flying colors. Chan was the best shooter for Gilas both in total 3-point field goals made and percentage, shooting an insane 47.6 percent from deep. Chan won another title with ROS in 2016, before he was moved to Phoenix and eventually, Ginebra.  #7 Jayson Castro Gilas 2.0 was Jayson Castro’s coming out party for the Philippine national team. Sharing minutes with Jimmy Alapag and LA Tenorio, Castro was the weapon unleashed by Gilas when the going got tough. And as the tournament got deeper, it got more and more evident that The Blur was the national team’s best local. After the tournament, Castro was named in the All-Star team, and his reign as the best point guard in Asia also started his journey as a Gilas legend. While he’s already retired twice from Gilas, we’ll believe Castro is done when he doesn’t actually play. #8 Gary David Even as the PBA’s best scorer at the time, Gary David readily accepted his diminished role with Gilas 2.0. Out of all players, David finished second to last in scoring, beating out only June Mar Fajardo, who played seven games and only saw 31 minutes of total court action. Nevertheless, David was a key piece that made the Gilas 2.0 machine work, his explosive performance in the quarterfinals against Kazakhstan set up the South Korea game quite nicely too. Post-PBA, Gary David is seeing action in the MPBL, even being crowned as the league’s 3-point king in 2019. #9 Ranidel De Ocampo RDO was even better in Gilas 2.0 than he was in the original Gilas. Much like Castro, De Ocampo was a reliable weapon for coach Chot’s national team, his outside shooting ultimately proving crucial for Gilas. Ranidel was behind only Chan in 3-point field goals made and percentage for Gilas, he also hit the forgotten triple that help bury South Korea in the semifinals. RDO is technically still not retired, but injuries have forced him to slow way down in his later years in the PBA as a Meralco Bolt. #10 Gabe Norwood Norwood was one of the players from Coach Chot’s 2007 Philippine team that was present for Gilas 2.0 in Manila. Gabe didn’t do much scoring, but he played the most minutes out of everyone and was easily Gilas Pilipinas’ best defender all tournament long. Norwood’s clutch block on Kim Min-goo helped secure Gilas’ win over South Korea in the semifinals. Gabe is one of the longest-tenured players not just in the Gilas program but in Philippine national team history. In 2019, he made the World Cup for the second straight time. #11 Marcus Douthit Douthit was back for Gilas 2.0 and while his production was lowered compared to the original Gilas, he was still the rock and foundation of the national team. [Related: Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas 1.0?] Kuya Marcus’ stint ended early, as his tournament essentially ended before halftime of the semifinals of the game against South Korea due to injury, forcing Gilas to go true All-Filipino the rest of the way. Much like in Gilas 1.0, Douthit led Gilas in scoring and rebounding with 11.9 points and 9.4 rebounds. #12 Larry Fonacier The second designated shooter for the national team in 2013, Larry Fonacier was the classic 3-and-D player for Gilas 2.0. Gilas 2.0 was Fonacier’s only Gilas stint, and winning a silver medal is not a bad result for being one-and-done.  After Gilas 2.0, Larry would continue to play for TNT for a couple more seasons, before moving on to join the NLEX Road Warriors as one of the team’s veterans. #13 June Mar Fajardo June Mar Fajardo was a very raw prospect when Gilas 2.0 won silver in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships. The future six-time PBA MVP only played in seven games and scored a grand total of three points. Nevertheless, Fajardo was a completely different player following his stint with Gilas 2.0. After he came out of his initial stint with the national team, Fajardo proceeded to dominate the PBA for half a decade and counting, and his consistent Gilas stints in the future also slowly helped him be a consistent contributor in international play. For all intents and purposes, Fajardo could still be a key piece with the country co-hosts the 2023 World Cup, 10 years after Gilas 2.0. #14 Japeth Aguilar While still limited, Japeth was an improved version of himself by the time he played for Gilas 2.0.  He was the explosive reliever for the frontline, and was a crucial part of the rotation when Douthit suffered an injury during the South Korea game. Just like Norwood, Japeth has reached the 10-year mark in service of Gilas Pilipinas program and the national team as a whole, and Gilas 2.0 was just one of his many stops. #15 Marc Pingris The heart and soul of Gilas 2.0, Marc Pingris personified the national team’s famous battle cry. Gilas 2.0’s emotional leader, Ping had his teammates dig deep when they faced the greatest adversity of their World Cup bid in the semifinals against South Korea that eventually led to an iconic breakthrough. While his numbers won’t wow anyone, Ping’s leadership and influence in the national team resonates to this day, and it all started in Gilas 2.0.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2020

Team Lakay stars shine as S+A brings back ONE Championship fights

Filipino warriors from Team Lakay will show us how to fight with all heart and might this April as ABS-CBN S+A gives us world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) action from ONE Championship all month. Witness Team Lakay’s rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang notch another rousing victory as one of the featured fighters in “ONE Warrior Season 4.” The travel series and talent show hosted by MMA legend Rich Franklin will have its Philippine premiere on Sunday (April 5) from 6 pm to 12 mn, followed by 30-minute telecasts every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9 pm. Adiwang’s first round knockout on Brazilian Alber Correia Da Silva was one of the best moments that season, which aired in February 2019 and was won by Japanese submission specialist Kimihiro Eto.  Thunder Kid’s Team Lakay teammate Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will also take the spotlight as S+A airs “ONE: Roots of Honor” on April 16 at 9 pm.  Pacio redeemed himself in the co-main event, defeating Yosuke Saruta via split decision to take back the ONE Strawweight World Championship. The fight also featured ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen, who knocked out former titleholder Narantungalag Jadambaa to extend his reign. On April 17, it’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio’s turn to show Filipino courage through his domination of Korean Kim Kyu Sung in their Flyweight World Grand Prix bout in e “ONE: Enter the Dragon.” Fighting alongside the former champion from Team Lakay  in this card were superstars Shinya Aoki and Christian Lee, who figured in a Lightweight World title showdown.  On April 23, watch Danny “The King” Kingad make his presence felt in the MMA world with a split decision win over Australian Reece McLaren in “ONE: Dawn of Heroes,” which also featured legends Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. The next day, April 24, see the gallant stand of Filipino fighters Brandon Vera, and Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon and Kingad in the biggest event in martial arts history, the two-part “ONE: Century” event in Japan. S+A closes the month with “ONE: Masters of Fate” on April 30, which had Filipinos Pacio and Rene Catalan fighting each other in the main event. The Passion won the fight, while other Pinoy fighters like Eduard Folayang, Robin Catalan, and Eustaquio also entering the win column.  Apart from these world-class MMA events, fight fans will also enjoy looking back at other outstanding bouts in “ONE: Championship Classics” every Tuesday at 9:30 pm starting April 14 and never before seen footage and behind-the-scenes moments in “ONE: Official Film” every Saturdays at 9:30 pm beginning April 18.   S+A will also air “ONE: Greatest Rivalries” every Sunday at 9:30 pm starting April 19 and “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” every Monday at 9 pm beginning April 20. For the latest news in sports, follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

Boxing: Fury vs. Wilder 3 postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

The third installment between of the heavyweight boxing rivalry between "The Gypsy King" Tyson Fury and "The Bronze Bomber" Deontay Wilder is the latest casualty in the COVID-19 Pandemic's rampage on sporting events.  Wilder and Fury fought to a draw back in December of 2018. In the rematch, Fury stopped Wilder in the seventh round to claim the WBC Heavyweight World Championship.  Originally scheduled for July 18th at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Fury-Wilder 3 has been postponed, said Top Rank Boxing CEO Bob Arum, via ESPN's Dan Rafael.  "Clearly not. We don't even know if the MGM will even be open by then," said Arum.  This comes after Top Rank Promotions decided to indefinitely postpone their slate of events for March and April, including a highly-anticipated bantamweight bout between titleholders John Riel Casimero of the Philippines and Naoya Inoue of Japan, wherein three of the big four world titles are up for grabs.  Casimero however, is confident that the fight will push through this coming May.  Arum added that while July is still a handful of months away, the uncertainty of the current situation as well as the time needed to prepare was a big part in deciding to move the bout to a later date.  "You could not guarantee the fighters that the event would take place on that date. We couldn't convince them or ourselves," Arum stated. "Where were they going to train for it? It just made no sense. You just have to take a step back. With the world seemingly on lockdown at the moment, international travel was also a concern, since Britain's Fury had thousands of British fans in attendance for the rematch back February 22nd.  "How are you going to sell tickets? It's absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can't even get there," Arum added.  Top Rank's head honcho did give a projected date of when he hopes the fight to push through.  "So everybody has to take a step back. Boxing is not isolated. It's part of what's happening in the world. So possibly the fight will be in early October," Arum said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 26th, 2020

Folayang, Eustaquio, ONE Championship stars react to closed-door events

While most of the sporting world has stopped due the current COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship is intent on keeping the show going, as they’ve already announced that they will be putting on closed-door, audience-free shows starting April. Looking to push a message of positivity, the upcoming closed-door events were entitled HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAMS, and INSPIRATION, all of them set to be held in Singapore. And while mixed martial artists often rely on the crowd for an extra boost when inside the circle, ONE Championship’s athletes have expressed their support and agreement to the closed-door setting given the worldwide enforcement of social distancing and staying at home. For former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang putting on events in a closed-door setting will uphold the safety of the athletes, the fans, and the staff while still also giving the athletes a chance to make a living. “We’re under a pandemic now, so we have to look at the safety of the athletes, the staff, and the fans. It’s better [to hold closed-door events] than the fights being canceled altogether. I think it’s a good move because the fans can just wait for it on their TVs or social media accounts," Folayang said via ONE Championship.  “The sports events that people are waiting for, like the NBA, are canceled as well, so I think that will be the advantage for ONE. I know there are a lot of people who want to watch live, but I know that even they wouldn’t push through because of health concerns,” he added. Reigning ONE Middleweight and Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang said that he promises to put on a show for the fans no matter where the event is held. “Thank you to the ONE fans for keeping us in business. We promise to put on amazing shows, even with closed-door events. The staff is taking extra precautions and as an athlete, I am super thankful for them. And for me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a closed-door event, a stadium event, or [an event] in the parking lot, I plan on putting on great shows for the fans.” Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio understands that while a closed-door setting will hurt a bit in terms of revenue, it’s better for the fighters to compete closed-door than to have their fights cancelled completeley. “It’s a very wise move. On the athletes’ part, that decision is very favorable because we all know the hardships athletes go through to prepare [for a bout]. It’s always a dream for them to compete, so it would not be good if their matches get canceled altogether.” “The good thing is ONE Championship understands that. That’s why I am in favor of the events to go through, albeit in closed doors. Of course, it will hurt the company a little bit, especially when it comes to gate revenue. But sometimes, you have to make sacrifices,” Eustaquio added. Reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen hopes for the best as the pandemic continues to affect the whole world. “At the end of the day, this virus is just a phase that will pass hopefully sooner than later. We just have to be smart in these certain situations and take self-care, as well as be mindful of others.” ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix runner-up Danny “The King” Kingad knows the risks of putting on a live event during this time of a virus pandemic. “I think boss Chatri made a great decision. I think that’s okay for the rest of us. After all, we cannot take into account each and every person who enters the arena during events – and we can’t be too sure because one person could be the start of an outbreak.” “For me, that’s a great decision, putting everything in closed doors for the meantime,” he continued. Former ONE Strawweight World Championship challenger Rene “The Challenger” Catalan echoed Kingad’s sentiments, saying that a mass gathering - much like a normal, packed ONE Championship event - can be the start of disease transmission, especially one as highly contagious as the COVID-19 virus. “For me, sir Chatri’s decision to continue the event in closed-doors is the right move. If an event pushes through which is open to the public, there is a big possibility for disease transmission. It’s a good move, and the right move, to push for closed-doors, as long as the competition continues.”  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2020

Tyson Fury at Deontay Wilder, muling maghaharap

     TJ BUMANLAG   POSIBLENG magkaroon ng pangatlong rematch ang tinaguriang Gypsy King na si Tyson Fury matapos muling matalo nito si Deontay Wilder sa isang heavyweight title rematch sa MGM Grand Hotel sa Las Vegas. Sinasabing ito ay kahanga-hangang pagkapanalo ni Fury matapos nitong malulong sa droga at alak. Limampu’t walong power punches ang naitala ni […] The post Tyson Fury at Deontay Wilder, muling maghaharap appeared first on PINAS......»»

Category: newsSource:  pinasglobalRelated NewsMar 2nd, 2020

Three Kings cited in Elorde Awards Night

IBF superflyweight king Jerwin Ancajas, WBO bantamweight titlist JohnRiel Casimero and IBF minimumweight ruler Pedro Taduran will be honored as Co-Boxers of the Year for their outstanding performance in 2019 during the 20th Gabriel Elorde Memorial Awards Night and Banquet of Champions at the five-star Okada Manila Hotel grand ballroom, Parañaque, on March 25......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 1st, 2020

Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad grinds out decision win at ONE: FIRE & FURY

Filipino mixed martial artist Danny “The King” Kingad of Team Lakay earned a hard-fought Unanimous Decision win over China’s “The Hunter” Xie Wei at ONE: FIRE & FURY, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.  Kingad scored a takedown in the opening round and maintained aggression throughout the three-round contest. Kingad peppered Xie with leg kicks in the standup and was relentless in looking for the takedowns en route to a decision victory.  The Team Lakay flyweight star improves to 14-2 in his professional MMA career as he bounces back from his ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Finals loss to Demetrious Johnson at ONE: CENTURY back in October of 2019.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 31st, 2020

Joshua Pacio and Alex Silva face off at ONE: FIRE & FURY Open Workouts

ONE Championship returns to the Philippines for the first time in 2020 with ONE: FIRE & FURY this coming Friday, January 31st at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Before 'The Home of Martial Arts' puts on yet another exciting show for its loyal Pinoy fans however, some of the athletes seeing action on Friday's must-see card gave the media a taste of what to expect on fight night during the official ONE: FIRE & FURY Open Workouts, Tuesday afternoon at One Esplanade.  Headlining Friday's card will be an intriguing ONE Strawweight World Championship bout between the Philippines' very own reigning titlist Joshua "The Passion" Pacio and former champion Alex "Little Rock" Silva of Brazil.  The champ is here! ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio will be defending his title against Alex Silva this Friday. Pacio will look for his second successful title defense | #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/9IPuy5IVlk — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 The 24-year old Pacio, a member of the famed Team Lakay stable up in Benguet, will be looking to defend his ONE Strawweight World Championship for a second time, as he's coming off a successful title defense against compatriot Rene "D' Challenger" Catalan also in Manila last November.  Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex Silva of Brazil will try to regain his title against reigning champ Joshua Pacio this Friday | #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/ZZ9AjY7hHk — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 Standing opposite Pacio will be a dangerous test in former ONE Strawweight World Champion Silva, who captured the title back in 2017 with a decision win over Yoshitaka Naito. Silva's reign would not be a long one however, as Naito would reclaim the title the following year. Silva has managed to bounce back successfully and has racked off two straight wins over Stefer Rahardian and Peng Xuewen to earn another shot at gold.    Two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion @efolayang returns to action against Pietr Buist. He’s looking to kick off another run to the top of the division | #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/3pT963fEbi — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 In the co-main event, Filipino mixed martial arts icon and two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang of Team Lakay returns to action to face Dutch up-and-comer Pietr "The Archangel" Buist.  Coming off his technical decision win over Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu in Manila back in Noveber, Folayang looks to score back-to-back wins and work his way back to the top of the ONE Championship lightweight title picture. Buist on the other hand, is looking to make a big impact on short notice, as he meets a big name in the Pinoy star. The Dutchman is currently 2-0 under the ONE banner.    ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finalist Danny Kingad of Team Lakay returns to action against Xie Wei. He’s coming off a great performance in a loss against Demetrious Johnson | #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/qSVTtg2Igq — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 Fresh off his ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finals bout against Demetrious Johnson, Danny "The King" Kingad steps back into the circle to face China's "The Hunter" Xie Wei. In spite of falling to Johnson in the flyweight tournament finale, the young Kingad, also a member of Team Lakay, drew praise from the American MMA star, and now looks to use his experience as fuel to return to the upper echelon of the flyweight division. With a five-fight winning streak in tow, Xie will look to score the biggest win of his career against a proven contender in Kingad.    ONE Warrior Series contract winner Lito Adiwang of Team Lakay does some shadow boxing before hitting the mitts. He faces Pongsiri Mitsatit on Friday. | #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/hPwePNnOAt — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 Looking to build off his explosive debut, strawweight Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang makes his way back to the Circle to face Thai veteran Pongsiri "The Smiling Assassin" Mitsatit.  Team Lakay's Adiwang, a ONE Warrior Series contract winner, announced his arrival with quick submission win over Senzo Ikeda in Tokyo back in October. He hopes to keep the momentum going as he faces another tough test in the form of Mitsatit.  With four losses in his last five bouts, Mitsatit is definitely hungry for a victory, and he hopes to finally return to the winners column at the expense of Team Lakay's newest soldier in the ONE ranks.    Women’s Atomweight contender and #SEAGames2019 Kickboxing Gold Medalist Gina Iniong of Team Lakay out next. She faces Asha Roka on Friday | #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/X5hVVAUOzt — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 After dominating the field in kickboxing during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, gold medalist Gina "Conviction" Iniong returns to MMA and the ONE Circle to face India's Asha "Knockout Queen" Roka.  Team Lakay's Iniong is coming off an impressive split decision win over Jihin Radzuan back in 2019, and look to keep her momentum going as she faces one of the division's newest faces.  Losing to Stamp Fairtex in her maiden ONE appearance, Roka finds herself against an even more experienced opponent in perennial contender Iniong.    Filipina Jomary Torres of Catalan Fighting System first out. She trains with former title contender Rene Catalan. She faces Jenny Huang on Friday | #ONEChampionship #FireAndFury pic.twitter.com/hJTCNemV1J — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) January 28, 2020 Kicking things off on Friday will be Jomary "The Zamboanginian Fighter" Torres of Catalan Fighting System taking on former title contender Jenny "Lady GoGo" Huang of Chinese Taipei.  After a scorching start in ONE which saw her win her first three outings, Torres has cooled down drastically, losing her last four bouts. She hopes to finally arrest her losing skid against someone on the same boat in Huang.  Much like Torres, Huang was impressive to begin her ONE career, winning her first four assignments to earn a shot at Angela Lee and the ONE Women's Atomweight World Championship. Huang would lose to Lee and then drop her next four bouts to make it an excruciating five-fight losing streak.    Catch ONE: FIRE & FURY on Friday, January 31st at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2020

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio looking to prove he s worthy of being called a champion

For Filipino phenom Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, the distinction of being the ONE Strawweight World Champion means that he is no doubt one of the best in the world in his weight division.  A member of the famed Team Lakay stable out of Baguio City, Philippines, Pacio will look to remain atop the strawweight division’s rankings when he puts his title on the line against a former titleholder in Brazilian submission ace, Alex “Little Rock” Silva, in the main event of ONE: FIRE & FURY this coming January 31st at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.  At just 24 years old, Pacio has risen to the top of ONE’s stacked strawweight division, thanks to notable wins over top tier competition such as former champions Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Yoshitaka Naito, and Yosuke Saruta, as well as contenders Rene Catalan and Pongsiri Mitsatit.  2019 proved to be a very formative year for the young Filipino star, as he lost, reclaimed, and defended the ONE Strawweight World Championship, all within 12 months.  Pacio opened 2019 with a controversial split decision defeat to Saruta in January to relinquish the 56.7-kilogram division’s top prize, but in the immediate rematch just three months later, Pacio went on to reclaim the title in highlight-reel fashion, knocking out Saruta with a head kick in the fourth round. To close out 2019, Pacio successfully defended his title for the first time with a dominant all-around display leading to a second-round arm triangle submission victory over fellow Filipino Catalan. “I am a World Champion now,” Pacio said, after finally getting a title defense under his belt. “All I can say is that all the sacrifices and hard work really paid off for us. I feel it now because I have defended the title.” As dominant as his win over Catalan was, Pacio let it be known that he would be ‘going back to the drawing board’ to continue improving even more, with hopes of a quick return to action to defend his championship once more.  Roughly two months after his successful title defense, Pacio heads back to the ONE Championship stage, and this time he faces the only other former ONE Strawweight World Champion that he has yet to defeat in Silva.  The Brazilian grappler out of Evolve MMA is coming off back-to-back submission wins over Peng Xue Wen and Stefer Rahardian.  Silva, a third-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, is 13 years Pacio’s senior, but the defending champion will be coming in with significantly more experience in the mixed martial arts arena.  In his title defense against the 40-year old Catalan, Pacio was able to show that in mixed martial arts, age is nothing but a number, and “The Passion” is looking to prove that once more against the 37-year old Silva.  “They call me a young phenom for a reason,” Pacio said. “I need to prove that.” Apart from defending his title for a second time, Pacio is also looking to keep his Mall of Asia Arena record spotless. When competing in the 15,000-seater stadium, Pacio is an impressive 6-0. Joining Pacio on the card will be Team Lakay teammates Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Danny “The King” Kingad, Lito “Thunder Kid”  Adiwang, and Gina “Conviction” Iniong, setting up what could be another memorable night for the Philippines’ top mixed martial arts stable.  Folayang, the former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion, battles The Netherlands’ Pieter Buist in the co-main event, while ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finalist Kingad returns to action against China’s Xie Wei in a featured bout. Adiwang, meanwhile, will look to capitalize on his successful debut when he faces Thai veteran Pongsiri Mitsatit, and Iniong, fresh off a successful gold medal run at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, returns to action to face India’s Asha Roka......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020