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Beginning your day with & lsquo;Unang Hirit& rsquo;

Miss waking up early with the Unang Hirit barkada? Fret no more as the longest-running morning TV show will now be airing at 5:30 a.m. beginning today......»»

Category: entertainmentSource: thestandard thestandardJun 8th, 2020

5000 great mornings with & lsquo;Unang Hirit& rsquo;

It’s been 20 years of great mornings with almost 5000 episodes of Unang Hirit. .....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

Success didn t come overnight for Yulo, Petecio and Obiena

What makes every victory sweet are the compelling stories behind the most glorious of triumphs. Beyond the statistics, the points, the records, it’s always the journey that make sports conquests inspiring.  For Olympians and champions pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo and world championship gold medalist female boxer Nesthy Petecio, success didn’t come overnight. They shared the same experiences where they bled, shed tears, felt pain, experienced regret and lost. It was never easy.   “’Yung sports kasi it can be brutal for us,” said Obiena, who was the first Filipino to book a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last month. “That kind of makes winning sweet. It’s a series of ups and downs.” “I think everybody here… now we’re champions but we lost a lot of times before we actually won,” he added.   TOUGH ROAD The 23-year-old vaulter remembered how devastated he was when he sustained a knee injury in 2017. Obiena just jumped to a new national record prior to that injury. From there, he needed to work his way back up again. Just like Obiena, Petecio also faced a tough road. The lowest point for the Davaoena was when she lost via a controversial 2-3 split decision to Chinese Yin Jun Hua in the 2018 Asian Games featherweight match that could’ve catapulted her to the gold medal bout.        “’Yung experience ko sa Asian Games sobrang na-down po ako nun kumbaga sabi ko sa sarili ko noon baka hindi para sa akin ang boxing,” Petecio said. “Kasi pinaghirapan ko po yung apat na gold po ako sunud-sunod po doon para i-prepare ang sarili ko sa Asian Games tapos ganoon po ang nangyari. Down na down po ako nun.” It was so painful that the 27-year old pug thought of hanging her gloves for good. “Alam po ni Coach Boy [Velasco] yun, sinasabi ko po kay coach na magtatrabaho na lang po ako kasi naka-graduate naman din po ako ng associate course sa University of Baguio. Sabi ko sa sarili ko kaya ko pala maghanap ng ibang work.” Meanwhile, Yulo was just 16 then when he left his family in Manila to train for three years under the tutelage of Japanese coach Munehiro Kugiyama. One could just imagine what goes through the mind of a teenager in a foreign land away from his parents and friends.     “Sa Japan, nu’ng unang taon ko po dun, actually nu’ng three months ko po dun OK naman po siya di masama,” Yulo recalled. “Pero nalulungkot na po ako noong mga sumunod na araw, nami-miss ko na po ang family ko.” His Japan training did wonders for Yulo as he became a consistent medalist in the 2018 world cup series last year winning medals in Melbourne and Baku in vault and in Doha and Cottbus in floor exercise.   But homesickness and the difficult routine training, Yulo admitted, almost broke him. “Yung mga trainings ko po dun hindi siya masaya, sobra pong hirap. Araw-araw po naiyak ako kasi di ko po siya kaya, susuko na ako,” he said. “Last two years po sinabi ko rin sa coach na magku-quit na ako kasi sobrang wala po eh parang tae di po maganda sobra ang training.” “Pauli-ulit lang po ang araw. Parang hinihintay ko lang po matapos ang araw,” added Yulo. Then Yulo suffered a big blow in 2018 Asiad when he crashed to 7th place in the floor exercise. “Sa Asian Games din po wala ako sa kondisyon nun,” Yulo said. “Pumunta lang ako ng gym para mag-training pero hindi po talaga galing sa puso.” “Hindi po ako makapag-focus nun tuwing competition. Marami rin po kasi akong pagkakamali bago yung preparation ko sa Asian Games din po,” he added. “Hindi po ako nanalo ng medals dun, naka-finals po pero di ako nanalo ng medals. May chance po pero hindi po para sa akin siguro yun.”   REDEMPTION For the three sports heroes, it was when they hit rock-bottom when they realized that they were actually on solid ground where they could stand up and rise above the adversities they faced. It is in the darkest of nights where the stars shine the brightest. After a seventh place finish in the Asian Games, Obiena cleared 5.71 meters in the Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar last April. He then set a new national record of 5.76 meters to rule the Universiade in Naples, Italy last July. Obiena went on a roll as he cleared 5.81 meters in a tournament in Italy last month to secure a berth in the Tokyo Games. “We're very lucky to have the Philippines as the country we represent,” he said. “Sometimes I compete and I'm the only Filipino there in the stadium then I see a tiny flag waving and it's just nice and that kind of makes me happy and makes me feel lucky that I get to show the world that there is a Filipino vaulting here and we actually exist.”    Yulo, on the other hand, needed a short talk with her mother, Angelica, and a trip to the church to clear his mind. “Umuwi po ako at kinausap ko po ang mama saka papa ko. Sinabi ko po sa kanila na nahihirapan na ako, gusto ko na mag-quit. Sinabi ni mama sa akin na, ‘Ikaw, pero sayang kasi ang mga pinaghirapan mo. Nasimulan mo na ba’t di mo pa tapusin?'” “Kinabukasan nagsimba kami tapos nag-sink in po sa utak ko na grabe ang dami ko na ring pinagdaananan sobrang nakaka-stress pala,” he recalled. Clinging on the vow to surpass his bronze medal in the world championship last year, Yulo made sure that he’ll be ready in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Stuttgart, Germany. “Ngayon tinarget ko talaga na di na maulit ang nangyari dati na umi-stop ako na walang magawa parang naiiyak na lang. Gusto ko lumaban at ipagmalaki sa lahat na kaya ko,” he said. Late Saturday night in the Philippines, Yulo made his historic stride on the other side of the world. Yulo bagged gold in the floor exercise final with a score of 15.300, besting Israeli Artem Dolgopyat (15.200), who dropped his shoulder when the Filipino's score flashed on the screen, and Ruoteng Xiao (14.933) of China. All-around, Yulo wound up 10th in the competition. “Hindi ko ini-expect na maka-medal ako kasi nung nakita ko ang score ng kalaban 15.2 po siya, hindi ko pa po nari-reach ang score [na yun],” said Yulo. After his routine, Yulo sat beside the Israeli gymnast and waited for his score. “Na ano ko na lang sa sarili ko na parang training lang ‘to. Gusto ko ipakita sa buong mundo na maganda ang gymnastics ko, na kahit matalo ako nu’ng araw na yun iniisip ko na lang na ginawa ko ang best ko,” he said. He then made history. Less than 24 hours after Yulo’s feat, on the Eastern Front, a Filipina carried the nation’s pride on top of the boxing ring in Russia. “’Yung mga kalaban ko po hindi po basta-basta po kasi nakikita ko rin po sa kanila na willing na willing din po nila na panalunin ang laban po,” Petecio recalled. “Kung gaano kadami ang suntok ko, dinadamihan din nila. Dinadaan ko na lang po lakas kasi alam kong mas malakas ako sa kanila.” She was a favorite during the prelims up to the semifinals, with the crowd in Ulan-Ude cheering her on. But the complexion changed when she entered the ring before the gold medal match. She was up against the hometown bet.    Despite fighting in hostile territory, Petecio bested Liudmila Vorontsove to annex the gold medal via split decision.    The victory was doubly sweet for Petecio. It was her long-awaited payback.            “Bago po yung final bout ko po, sabi ko po sa sarili ko na ‘Akin na ‘to’. Di ko na ibibigay ito,” she said. “Kasi noong 2014 last world championship nag-silver lang ako tapos Russian ang nakatalo sa akin. So sabi ko hindi ko na ipapaulit po na tatalunin ako ulit ng Russian. Akin na ‘to. Kini-claim ko na po sa sarili ko.” Having the gold medal finally on her neck, Petecio was just happy that she made the right decision just when she thought that her career was already bleak with the stinging Asian Games loss. ”Iniisip ko that time kung ano ang purpose ko kung bakit nag-boxing ako. Binalikan ko po ang insipirasyon ko, yung pamilya ko,” said Petecio, who once lived in a house made of tarpaulin and was financed by then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to fly to Manila to pursue amateur boxing.     ”Nagdasal po ako kay God nung time na yun na, ano ba talaga ang dahilan kung bakit di niya ibinigay sa akin ang inaasam kong gold sa Asian Games,” she added. ”Nagpursige po ako ulit, bumangon po ako paunti-unti sa tulong ng mga coaches ko din and ito po nakuha ko na ang ginto sa world.” Looking back, the trio now had a clear understanding why they had to go through trials that tested not only their character but also their faith in themselves. “Part of our life is challenges, everyday struggles and its just a series of good memories that makes us who we are now,” said Obiena. The new breed of Filipino heroes are now enjoying the fruits of their hard work and sacrifice. The accolades came pouring in left and right. However, the trio agree that they are just at the beginning of their journey. They still have to make a home stand in the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month. For Petecio, a Tokyo Games ticket also awaits early next year in her attempt in the Asian qualifier in China. Obiena and Yulo also gun for podium finishes in Tokyo.   The road ahead is still long. It will never be a smooth and easy ride. But they will be ready. For flag and country.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2019

Luis sa proposal niya kay Jessy: Nagtataka ang tao, ‘Grabe! Bakit sila bihis na bihis? Ano ‘yan, surprise?’

SINAGOT ni Luis Manzano ang mga hirit at negang komento ng bashers tungkol sa engagement nila ni Jessy Mendiola. Sa pamamagitan ng Facebook Live, ipinaliwanag ng TV host sa mga nagtatanong kung surprise ba ang pagpo-proposal niya kay Jessy o scripted dahil pareho pa raw silang bihis na bihis sa beach sa kanilang engagement photos. […] The post Luis sa proposal niya kay Jessy: Nagtataka ang tao, ‘Grabe! Bakit sila bihis na bihis? Ano ‘yan, surprise?’ appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 14th, 2020

Feeling the & lsquo;K-lig& rsquo; all over again with & lsquo;My Korean Jagiya& rsquo;

Relive the ultimate fangirl experience as GMA Network’s first-ever Filipino-Korean romantic comedy series, My Korean Jagiya, returns to GMA Telebabad beginning tonight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2020

UST Tiger Cubs& rsquo; dashing & lsquo;Sniper& rdquo;

Every success is forged in a dream, for every journey starts with a beginning. The quest for basketball glory is underway for this upcoming basketball superstar who is making his mark in the world of hoops. .....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 14th, 2020

Local adaptation of & lsquo;Descendants of the Sun& rsquo; now on Netflix

GMA Network’s internationally-acclaimed drama Descendants of the Sun streams on Netflix Philippines beginning tomorrow......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 12th, 2020

& lsquo;Prima Donnas& rsquo; stars thrilled to be back on air

Due to insistent public demand and in celebration of its first anniversary, GMA Network brings back to Filipino homes the drama series “Prima Donnas” beginning today on the Afternoon Prime block......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 17th, 2020

Morikawa quickly goes from college grad to major champion

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Collin Morikawa couldn't help but break into a smile, and not just because the shiny Wanamaker Trophy he won at Harding Park was positioned on a stand next to him. Just over 14 months ago, Morikawa went through commencement after his All-American career — on the golf course and in the classroom — across the Bay Bridge and up the road at Cal-Berkeley. Since then, he has played 28 tournaments around the world and already has three victories on the PGA Tour, one of them a major championship. In the last 50 years, only four other players won their first major before age 23 or younger — Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Seve Ballesteros. He already is No. 5 in the world. That alone puts him among the elite, except that Morikawa didn't need to win the PGA Championship to feel that way. “When I woke up today, I was like, ‘This is meant to be.’ This is where I feel very comfortable,” Morikawa said. “This is where I want to be, and I'm not scared from it. I think if I was scared from it, the last few holes would have been a little different. But you want to be in this position.” Harding Park was not a place for the meek. Rare is Sunday at a major with so many possibilities at the beginning, at the turn and down the stretch. The drama was relentless. Nine players at one point could claim a share of the lead. There was Dustin Johnson, who started with a one-shot lead. The power of Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Champ was on full display. Jason Day brought the experience of winning majors and being No. 1 in the world. Morikawa embraced the moment and delivered the signature shot that allowed him to win a thriller. Actually, there were two moments. After catching a good break — even the most tested major champions need those — with a tee shot off a tree and into play on the 14th, he was short of the green and chipped in for birdie to take the lead. Two holes later, Paul Casey tied him with a nifty up-and-down for birdie on the 16th, where the tees were moved forward to 294 yards to entice players to go for the green. Morikawa thought back to the 14th hole at Muirfield Village during the Workday Charity Open, where he fearlessly hit driver in a similar situation — big trouble left, water right — and drilled it to 12 feet. His shot was the signature moment of this major, a driver that bounced just right and onto the green and rolled up to 7 feet below the cup. He made the eagle putt and was on his way to a two-shot victory with a 6-under 64, matching the lowest final round by a PGA champion. There were no spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Casey must have felt like one. He was still on the 17th tee when he looked back and saw Morikawa's shot. “Nothing you can do but tip your cap to that,” Casey said. “Collin has taken on that challenge and pulled it off. That's what champions do.” He won at Muirfield Village last month not from that bold play on the 14th hole, but after Justin Thomas made a 50-foot birdie putt in the playoff. Morikawa answered with a 25-foot birdie of his own and won two holes later. He is comfortable in the most uncomfortable situations. It was Thomas who gave Morikawa more confidence than he needed. They got together for dinner at the Canadian Open last summer, Morikawa's first start since graduating from Cal. Thomas told him he was good enough, he would make it. Thomas knew from experience. He spent a year in the minor leagues before getting his PGA Tour card, went through a year of learning without winning and now has 13 wins, a major and twice has been No. 1 in the world. Morikawa didn't wait that long. He won the Barracuda Championship to earn a PGA Tour card. He won against a strong field for validation. Now he's a major champion. Young stars are emerging every year, and it was easy to overlook Morikawa. He was a runner-up two years in a row for the Hogan Award, given to the nation's best college player. Doug Ghim won in 2018, Matthew Wolff a year later. And it was Wolff who denied Morikawa a victory last year in Minnesota by making a long eagle putt on the last hole. Players know best. “There’s always a bunch of guys that rock up on the scene, and he didn’t necessarily get the most publicity out of the group he was in,” Casey said. “I know talent when I see it. I don't like the term ‘talent,’ but you know when somebody is good. And Collin was good. We could just tell. ... And we weren't wrong.” Morikawa grew up in Southern California with Wolff. He considers the Bay Area a second home from his time at Cal and the dozen times the Golden Bears played or had qualifiers at Harding Park, a public course that never was this tough. In just over a year — it feels less than that because of the three months golf was shut down because of the pandemic — he has emerged as a star without ever being surprised. He thought back to his debut 14 months ago and recalled being comfortable then. He tied for 14th. “There's a different sense of comfort now,” Morikawa said. Another big smile. A bright future......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

& lsquo;Amazing Earth& rsquo; takes viewers on extraordinary adventures with fresh episodes

Exciting adventures and inspiring stories of local heroes await Kapuso viewers as GMA Network’s high-rating infotainment show ‘Amazing Earth’ offers brand new episodes beginning today. .....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 26th, 2020

Pro basketball, football clearance raises hope for volleyball

Commercial volleyball league stakeholders have high hopes that their activities will also resume soon following the government’s clearance for professional basketball and football leagues to start training. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing on Friday announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases gave the green light for the resumption of training for PBA and the Philippine Football League teams. The Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusement Board and the Department of Health drafted the guidelines for the resumption of training. Roque made no mention of volleyball in the announcement. The country’s second most popular sport next to basketball has no professional league. The Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga are both categorized as amateur or semi-professional along with the collegiate leagues including the UAAP and NCAA. “We’re preparing a request. Ang sinasabi kasi nila ay professional sports muna and sa amateurs parang wala pa eh but we’re working on it,” PVL organizer Sports Vision president Ricky Palou told ABS-CBN Sports. PSL president Dr. Ian Laurel expressed optimism that volleyball will follow suit. “Ang expectation natin ay susunod na tayo,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction or signal that sports are being discussed in the IATF.” “That’s already a step in the right direction for us. Hindi naman mahalaga kung sino ang unang papayagan eh. Ang importante yung konsepto na yung sports eh kino-consider at napag-uusapan. Pero susunod na yan very optimistic ako,” added Laurel. While PBA and the PFL sought help from GAB, commercial leagues course their IATF request through the PSC.   “Kami ang PSC ang kailangan naming lapitan. Kapag amateur kasi PSC. What will happen is PSC will endorse it to IATF. Bahala na ang IATF kung papayag sila o hindi,” Palou said. In a separate request to the IATF last month, national sports association leaders from athletics, basketball, volleyball, football, rugby, gymnastics and karate crafted a one-month trial program for athletes to resume training under a strict health and safety protocol. The IATF has yet to decide on their requests aside from the clearance they gave to the PBA and the PFL. “We don’t know what they’re thinking on amateur sports eh kasi right now ang pinayagan lang ‘yung football and basketball professional league lang. Eh kami di naman kami pro, we’re amateurs so we’re going to PSC,” Palou said. PSL halted its ongoing Grand Prix last March at the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while the PVL’s fourth season was supposed to begin last May but was pushed back because of the health crisis. Both leagues hope to resume activities once volleyball gets the go-signal from the IATF.   “We’re hoping [na mapayagan na rin ang volleyball]. They’ve already allowed football and basketball siguro naman there’s no reason why [volleyball should not be allowed to resume] as long we comply with what they want and we comply with their protocols. I don’t see why [volleyball] shouldn’t be allowed,” said Palou.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2020

& lsquo;Prima Donnas& rsquo; stars reunite for special online show

Beginning today, and every Friday thereafter, viewers are in for a treat as the cast of top-rating GMA Afternoon Prime series Prima Donnas comes together for a special livestream dubbed as Prima Donnas: watch From Home on GMA Network’s official social media accounts......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 18th, 2020

& lsquo;Ang Probinsyano,& rsquo; favorite Kapamilya shows return on cable, satellite TV

Cardo Dalisay and other iconic Kapamilya teleserye characters are returning to TV to bring entertainment, inspiration, and relief to Filipinos as some of the well-loved ABS-CBN shows will be shown on Kapamilya Channel, which will be available on cable and satellite TV nationwide beginning June 13......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 5th, 2020

GMA Network launches & lsquo;At Home with GMA Regional TV& rsquo;

GMA Network is ushering its anniversary month on a high note as it launches At Home with GMA Regional TV — the first and only unified morning program in Mindanao airing weekdays at 8:00 am beginning today via GMA Regional TV’s (GMA RTV) local channels in Mindanao......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 31st, 2020

& lsquo;Anak Ni Waray Vs. Anak Ni Biday& rsquo; offers series of fun vlogs

Every Monday, beginning today, join the cast of Anak Ni Waray Vs. Anak Ni Biday as they try their hand at vlogging and channel their characters for a series of fun vlogs to be uploaded on GMA Network’s official social media accounts......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 31st, 2020

Mark Sangiao pleased to see Team Lakay wards maintain fitness even during quarantine

With Baguio City beginning to ease up on quarantine restrictions, it’s only a matter of time before gyms begin to open back up, something that Filipino martial arts stable Team Lakay is eagerly looking forward to. Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao has stressed the importance of being able to return to the gym for proper training, but he’s pleased to see that even during the two-month period that the whole of Luzon was under Enhanced Community Quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his wards had maintained their commitment to staying fit and in tip-top shape. “The good thing about it is that they stayed locked-in and never really relaxed, even though we’re in a quarantine period,” Sangiao expressed. Given that at home, it’s easy to be lazy and blow off training, the level of commitment that these champion athletes is indeed commendable. “Their fitness levels are very good. I am happy they did their part as athletes during ECQ and they were even posting home workouts on social media,” Sangiao added. Even more impressive is that some of them were able to find creative ways to stay in peak condition. Take for example ONE featherweight contender Edward ‘The Ferocious’ Kelly, who channeled his inner McGyver to create training tools from scrap, while former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario went even further up north in order to continue his outdoor runs. Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon were fortunate enough to be neighbors, so they were able to train with each other during the lockdown. While Baguio has already transitioned into General Community Quarantine, there are still some restrictions in place, that’s why Pacio and other members of the famed Filipino stable decided to move into the gym for the time being. “Joshua and the others are already living here in the gym, in-house,” Sangiao shared. “Joshua decided to stay here, so he does not have to go out often. On the other hand, we go here two to three times a week.” Even with the time off from proper training in the gym, Sangiao noted that there were no signs of rust. “They look like they did not miss a beat because they were disciplined during the quarantine.” With ONE Championship postponing their events for May and with no timetable yet for the events to resume, Sangiao isn’t sure when competition will resume for Team Lakay. Still, there’s no reason to relax. “The plan now is to build up again, train hard, and refocus. As much as possible, we want to pick up where we left off,” Sangiao said.  “I think in one month, they’ll be in competition shape,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020

& lsquo;GMA Regional TV Strip& rsquo; on GMA News TV

More viewers will have access to local news that matters as GMA Regional TV launches its GMA Regional TV Strip airing weeknights on GMA News TV beginning tomorrow......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 17th, 2020

When We Were Volleyball Queens (Part 2)

(This story was originally published back in March 24, 2015) Back in 1993 the Philippine national team defied the odds by toppling the region’s women’s volleyball giant Thailand. Rosemarie Prochina, part of the national team sent to the 17th Southeast Asian Games, continues with her story of the things that transpired during the last shining moment of our Filipina athletes in the sport.    Buy gold? No, we’ll win them   Prochina revealed that they had an extra motivation in the championship match against Thailand after an incident involving her teammate Bernadeth Burcelis. A Thai tried to get into their heads. A warning shot of psychological warfare, perhaps an attempt to bully the Filipinas out of their wits.      “Actually yung team manager nila kinantyawan kami nu’ng mag-shopping kami,” Prochina said. “Sinabihan niya si Burcelis, sabi niya “Oh you buy many, many golds now because tomorrow you will only get silver.” The Filipina didn’t talk back, she and the national team simply let their game do the talking.      “Yun ang sabi niya. So kami parang di naman din niya sinabi sa amin (kaagad), pero sa kanya (Burcelis) OK lang yun. Basta maglaro lang kami,” Prochina said. During the game, Prochina said that everybody was doing their part even those sitting on the bench. “Yun ang maganda sa team namin na kahit na kaming nasa bench, di ako first six kasi,” she admitted. “Kaming nasa bench kahit parang di kami makakalaro nandoon kami sa bench nagpi-pray, lahat todo support. Tapos kapag may timeout, magma-massage kami sa mga teammates namin.” Zenaida Ybanez also won the Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player award while Leonora Escolante was named Best Setter.  For Prochina their feat showed the never-say-die spirit of the Filipinas. “So yun very (inspiring) ang pagkapanalo dun kasi underdogs kami,” she said.    Coach Tai, the lover boy?  SEA Games is not just about athletes trying to outplay their opponents for a podium spot. The biennial meet is organized for the purpose of developing friendship and camaraderie among nations. And some tried to take this fellowship into another level. Prochina gave away a secret that involves a name that is very famous in the volleyball circle today. Ateneo de Manila coach Tai Bundit did capture the hearts of local fans with his charm and heart strong mantra proven by the Lady Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP crown but 22 years ago the Thai had an early encounter with the Filipinos – and we are not talking about how he and his team demolished the PHI men’s squad. It was about something romantic. “Yung coach nila (Ateneo) magkasabayan kami sa national team,” said Prochina, who’s an Ateneo fan herself. “Yung coach nila na si Tai nagpang-abot kami.” The Thai women’s team looked at the Filipinas with fire in their eyes, but not Bundit as he glowed with sparks of stars and moonshine while focused on a Pinay whose name gives happiness to his heart.   Yes, before Bundit danced his signature ‘kitiki-Tai’ moves, he tried to tango.            “Kami yang (magkakasabayan) noong nanliligaw-ligaw pa yan sa teammate ko, si Joy Degoroztisa,” Prochina said in a chuckle. “Ewan ko kung nagkasagutan sila, huh!” she continued. “Naku baka (mapagalitan ako ni Joy) kasi nanligaw siya (Bundit) dun. Si Joy nasa Kuwait na siya ngayon.” Asked for more juicy details, Prochina said that her memory is a bit sketchy about the whirlwind romance.   “Actually, di ko masyado (nasubaybayan na yung nangyari) kasi nga yung laro di ba ilang weeks lang yun tapos hindi ko na alam kung anong nangyari,” Prochina added. And she really has no idea if Bundit got one through the block or totally got shut down. Bundit is now happily married while Degoroztisa is based in Kuwait.   “Masakit para sa amin”  After the team brought home the mint, the Pinays failed to win it all in the next SEAG editions paving way for Thailand’s domination in the region.  The Thais got their revenge on their turf in 1995 against the Filipinas in the finals. Again winning another gold after two years at the expense of PHI, who had bronze finishes in 2001, 2003 and in 2005 edition held in Manila.  Sadly, in the next four SEA Games no women’s team were fielded and the Pinays were overtaken by in terms of competitiveness by Vietnam and Indonesia.     “Masakit para sa amin kasi hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin na-break,” a regretful Prochina said. “Nag-20 years na hindi pa rin na-break yung record, nag-post ako sa FB sabi ko “Happy 20th year sa pagka-gold naming”, ganyan, pero napakasakit kasi wala pang pumalit,” she added. “Hindi ka-proud na kayo lang kasi siyempre parang anong nangyari sa programa ng volleyball sa Pilipinas?” A degradation of the sport she painfully watched. “Yung 1995 malakas pa rin yun kahit nawala na yung iba,” she said. “Maraming mga matatangkad gaya nina Cherry Rivera Macatangay, Roxanne Pimentel, si Joy Degoroztisa, Estrella Tan Enriquez na nag-convert na lang sa basketball kasi nawala na nga yung (volleyball program).”   New beginning  The dream of standing taller than Thailand may still be years away, but Prochina is happy that there is a rebirth of volleyball in the country. With the sport having an avenue outside of collegiate leagues with the Shakey’s V-League and Philippine Superliga and the interest of the nation to volleyball taking its roots again, the future looks bright. “Yung volleyball sa atin paangat na talaga saka sobrang happy kaming mga older players na nakikitang ganoon na ang progress ng volleyball sa Pilipinas,” she said. It’s a fact that we are not at par in skills and development wise with the Thais – a solid proof of it is having their players fielded as imports to raise the level of competition in our local leagues – but Prochina is glad that we are now taking small steps.      “Kasi lumayo na ang Thailand e, lumayo ng milya-milya and nawala tayo. Pero kaya yang (mahabol) wala namang imposible,” she said. “Pero mas malalaki nga tayo actually. Ang players natin may 6-foot-5, may mga ganoon. Yung mga players natin malalaki. “Sa atin lang siguro yung continuity ng training, at ng support.” Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. as part of their volleyball program has formed an Under-23 men’s and women’s team that will compete in the Asian age group championships on May. After skipping volleyball events in four SEAG editions, the PHI will field both men’s and women’s teams for the meet in Singapore on June.            Promise of tomorrow          Prochina believes that PHI volleyball has a bright future and a repeat of their feat two decades ago is not far away.  “Of course. Malalaki and mas may advantage ang mga bata ngayon kasi sila yung skills at techniques nila meron na. Yung sa katawan, sa bilis, sa talon, meron,” she said. “Kami noon dinevelop pa. Ako personally dinevelop ako, kung hindi dahil sa coaches ko na sina coach Kid Santos and coach Emil Lontoc, na naniwala sa akin na gagaling ako at aabot ako sa level na ganoon, hindi ako tutuloy,” Prochina added. “Hindi katulad ngayon sobrang andami nating players na malalakas.” She is also overwhelmed by the fan base this generation of players built. “Marami talaga ngayon. Pero noong 2005 na naglaro kami ng V-League (for PSC (Lady Legends) nakakatawa lang noon na mayroong mga nagdadala (ng mga gamit) na mayroong mga signature naming na mga lumang players. Sinasabi nila na “Ay fan kami sa inyo.” Kami naman “Ay talaga, mayroon pala kaming mga fans,”” she said. “Mas malaki na (ang fanbase) kasi sa social media, alam na ng lahat ng tao ang nangyayari sa volleyball.”    Comparison Prochina picked Ateneo when asked if what team in her opinion mirrors the character of the 1993 team. “Kasi sila nag-start sila from scratch e. Tapos yung mga bata alam mong obedient sila sa nakikita mo sa laro. Hindi ko naman sinasabi na hindi obedient yun ibang teams ha,” she justified. “Pero kasi yung Ateneo galing talaga sila sa baba.” She also cited that long before Ateneo practiced meditation before and during games, they were already doing it as part of their routine. “Yes matagal na. Kasi nung nakita ko sila (Ateneo in meditation) sabi ko “Ah Ok. Kasi nag-coach din ako ng mga five years ago (in University of Asia and the Pacific) yun din ang itinuturo ko sa mga players na malaking bagay yung meditation,” she said. “Kasi sa SMAP (Sports Medicine Association of the Philippines) dati sa PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) sila ang nag-handle sa amin na nilagay kami sa isang room (for meditation),” Prochina added. “Tinantanong pa nga namin ang isa’t isa kung nakakatulong. Nakakatulong talaga siya tapos tinuruan nila kami na bago matulog, ayun, dapat may relaxation technique kami. Na dapat relaxed, alisin ang tension sa katawan tapos isipin mo na kinabukasan madali lang yung game. Yun talaga, malaking bagay siya." Just like Ateneo, they enjoyed every game. They are the original happy team. “Oo. Kasi yang si coach Emil Lontoc ang sinasabi niyan kapag maglalaro na kami “tiwala sa sarili at mag-enjoy sa game.” Yun yung sinasabi nila kapag magi-game kami. Kasi kung hindi ka naman magi-enjoy the game wala na, ano yun? E volleyball ito,” she said. And she agrees that Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez is the new face of volleyball in the country – the phenom that was yet to be born a few days after they bagged the SEAG gold.  “Of course, siya talaga. Kahit asawa ko idol siya. Humble yung bata, bilib ako sa bata,” Prochina explained. “Nakikita ko yung eagerness niya. ‘Yung kapag umatras siya na papatay siya ng bola, makikita mo talaga yung killer’s instinct niya. Kapag naglaro na 100% talaga siya.” For Prochina, Valdez is Barina-Rojas of her time -- a sign of hope.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

Johnriel Casimero could be facing someone other than Naoya Inoue

Johnriel Casimero’s plans to go ‘Monster Hunting’ could be put on hold for now. Due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, it looks like the Filipino WBO Bantamweight World Champion’s highly-anticipated title-unification bout against Japanese bulldozer and  reigning IBF and WBA Welterweight World Champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue could be put on the backburner for the time being. Casimero and Inoue were initially scheduled to fight on April 25th in Las Vegas, but it ended up being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking to BoxingScene.com’s Keith Idec, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum says that Casimero could be stepping in the ring against someone else, given that the Pinoy champion is already in the US, and Arum isn’t sure when Inoue can travel from Japan. A name that is being discussed is American Joshua Greer.  “One of the possible fights we’re talking about for [Casimero] is Joshua Greer, our kid from Chicago,” Arum said. “He was gonna fight Jason Moloney, so we could have him fight Casimero. That’s a good, competitive fight.” The 30-year old Casimero (29-4, 20 KO) is coming off a stunning win over Zolani Tete to capture the title back in November of 2019. “I talked to Mr. [Akihiko] Honda and Inoue’s people from Japan [on Thursday],” Arum added. “We’re thinking of bringing him over to the United States. The problem we have, of course, is the travel ban. Can we get a Japanese fighter into the country under these circumstances? I don’t know. Right now, what we’re concentrating on is American fighters or foreign fighters who are here in the United States. That way, we don’t have to worry about bringing them in from abroad for the fights we can do in the beginning.”  Greer, 25, is the number one contender for Casimero’s world title and owns a 22-1-1 pro record with 12 wins coming via KO, and has been on a 19-fight winning streak since 2016. A title shot against Casimero will be Greer’s first shot at a major world championship. Greer was set to face Jason Moloney on the same card as Casimero-Inoue. “From the looks of things, it’s a good fight with Casimero,” Greer also told BoxingScene.com’s Idec. “[Casimero is] an unpredictable, wild guy, very unpredictable. It’s a good matchup. I’m just looking for the winner, either or. I’m gonna take care of my business against Jason Moloney, beat him and I’m looking toward the winner, and I’m ready for either one.” Should the Casimero-Greer bout push through, its likely that the winner will get to go ‘Monster Hunting’ against Inoue......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2020

40 years later, vote to skip Moscow Games still horrible

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer DENVER (AP) — By the time the news filtered to him, Edwin Moses had already left a promising engineering job to focus on a full-time career on the track. He was lucky. He already had an Olympic gold medal hanging on his wall. Hundreds of other American athletes would never get their chance. They were part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team — the team that never made it to the Moscow Games after President Jimmy Carter spearheaded a now-infamous first-of-its-kind decision to boycott the Olympics. The full board of the U.S. Olympic Committee rubber-stamped Carter's decision 40 years ago Sunday — April 12, 1980. “I'd walked away from my career to get ready for the 1980 Olympics, and all was moot,” Moses told The Associated Press by phone. “So, it was horrible. For me, and for everyone.” Moses said by the time the USOC's unwieldy delegation of nearly 2,400 people met at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on a Saturday morning in April, with Vice President Walter Mondale in attendance, it was all but a done deal that the U.S. team would not be traveling to Moscow. Carter had begun the push in late 1979, with the Soviet Union pressing a military campaign into Afghanistan. In his 2010 memoir, Carter called it “one of my most difficult decisions.” Maybe more telling, as former USOC spokesman Mike Moran wrote in a recap of the events leading to the boycott, was an exchange the late 1984 Olympic champion wrestler Jeff Blatnick had with Carter on a plane many years later. “I go, ‘President Carter, I have met you before, I am an Olympian,'” Moran said in his retelling of Blatnick's story. “He looks at me and says, ‘Were you on the 1980 hockey team?’ I say, ‘No sir, I’m a wrestler, on the summer team.’ He says, ‘Oh, that was a bad decision, I’m sorry.’” Forty years later, there is virtually no debate about that conclusion. And the lingering irony of this year's games postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic isn't lost on Moses. “As an athlete, you lose one of your cat's nine lives,” he said. There will be a handful of could've-been 2020 Olympians who will not make it to 2021, because of age, injury or a changed qualifying procedure. Of the 466 U.S. athletes who had qualified for Moscow in 1980, 219 would never get to another Olympics, Moran wrote. Most of those who did would compete in 1984 against a less-than-full field. The Soviets and a number of Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the Los Angeles Games in a tit-for-tat retribution to the U.S. move four years earlier. Moses romped to a victory at the LA Coliseum in 1984, and he almost certainly would've won had the Soviets been there, too. He was the world-record holder and in the middle of a string of 107 straight victories in finals at 400 meters. If there was any silver lining to the 1980 boycott, Moses believes it was the recalibration of the Olympic model. During the years of the Moscow and Los Angeles boycotts and massive red ink from Montreal in 1976, the forces that had compelled Moses to quit his job — a profession unrelated to track and field — to retain his amateur status as an Olympian were exposed as unfair and unrealistic. The 1984 Games marked the beginning of the Olympics as a money-making venture and the beginning of the end of the strict rules regarding amateurism that put many Americans at a distinct disadvantage. All good for those who were able to take advantage of it. Many from that 1980 team, however, saw their Olympic careers shuttered without ever competing on the biggest stage. “Nothing was ever done to celebrate the team, and a lot of those members aren't around anymore,” Moses said. “We made the ultimate sacrifice in a sports world that no one was asked to do — and it was completely involuntary.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 12th, 2020

Tigresses keep grinding amid community quarantine

Not to be outdone by their men’s team, the University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses are also taking on the home workout challenge amid the Luzon enhanced community quarantine brought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Members of the Tigresses share how they keep in shape and how they keep themselves safe.    Rookie Imee Hernandez gets creative with her routine from using water bottles as weights, tying a blanket to a door for pull-ups, walking up and down the stairs for cardio, to working out with her baby niece Ava, which clearly enjoys being lifted by her Tita in this video.     UST Tigresses home workout challenge: Imee Hernandez pic.twitter.com/khuNowrJIq — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) March 19, 2020 “Ngayong panahon ng COVID-19 pandemic ay hindi po ako lumalabas ng bahay dahil meron na rin pong case din sa amin,” said Hernandez. “Kami po ng family ko ay nag-decide kung pwedeng hindi lumabas ay wag lumabas para din po maiwasan namin na magdala ng virus dito sa loob ng bahay.” She adds that they observe proper hygiene, eat healthy food and take vitamins to boost their immunity to fight off the virus.     “Sinisigurado po namin na lagi kaming naghuhugas ng kamay and umiinom ng vitamins,” Hernandez added. “Since bawal po kami lumabas ng bahay, nagwo-workout po ako para i-maintain yung condition nung katawan ko.” Graduating setter Alina Bicar, for her part, posted on her Instagram of her jogging around their village. UST Tigresses home workout challenge: Alina Bicar (IG: alinabicar) pic.twitter.com/Ty2m2jNZM0 — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) March 19, 2020 She did observe social distancing, mind you. Well, she was jogging on an empty street anyway.    “Pagkain ng mga masusustansiya pagkain para lumakas ang resistensya and mag-workout,” advised Bicar.   If not working out, the playmaker spends her time watching movies and reviewing the Tigresses games. Talk about doing her homework. Meanwhile, Ysa Jimenez works with basic volleyball drills on their garage with her sibling. UST Tigresses home workout challenge: Ysa Jimenez pic.twitter.com/Rjjyj8tN4U — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) March 19, 2020 Jimenez follows three simple rules to keep safe from the virus, “Hygiene, pagkain ng healthy food and uminom ng vitamins.” “Workout para ma-maintain ‘yung kondisyon ng katawan. Mag-Tiktok. Charot! Hahaha!” added the bubbly sophomore. KC Galdones does her part in helping curb the spread of the virus by following the government's directive while keeping in shape. “Siyempre unang una po, sumunod ako sa hindi paglabas and nagwo-workout po everyday,” she said. “Puro work out lang po and weights.” And for UST ace Eya Laure there is no excuse to slack off. “Need pa din siyempre ng exercise, dapat hindi mawawala yun,” said the national team member. But she does admit to a guilty pleasure: having her fix of Korean dramas.   “Watching TV or mga K-Drama,” said Laure. “Pero naghahanap pa din ng ways para makapag-workout sa loob ng bahay.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020