Advertisements


Cebuana bags gold in tough Jiu-jitsu meet in UAE

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Angel Sanchez proved that being a frontline worker, a mother, and a wife can’t stop her from reaching the zenith of her very demanding sport – Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ). Earlier today, April 9, 2021, Sanchez etched a milestone in her BJJ career after winning the gold medal in the prestigious 12th Abu […] The post Cebuana bags gold in tough Jiu-jitsu meet in UAE appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerApr 9th, 2021

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

Eduard Folayang: When an underdog finally became a world champion

In the five years that I was with the ABS-CBN Sports website, I was fortunate enough to have covered quite a number of memorable sports moments, so when I was asked to write about which was the most memorable for me, it was tough to narrow it down to just one single coverage. I could have written about Letran’s momentous upset of a dynasty-seeking San Beda in the NCAA Season 91 Finals, or I could have written about the Philippine Azkals making history by clinching a spot in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.  Being an MMA fan, I could have written about getting to be Octagon-side for the UFC’s first and only trip to Manila, which was indeed a dream come true for me.  When I think about it however, the coverage that sticks with me to this day, even four years later, was being cage-side, just inches away from Eduard  “Landslide” Folayang as he pummeled Shinya Aoki to become the ONE Lightweight World Champion in Singapore back in 2016.  I tell people about that night all the time, and I believe I’ll continue to do so for the rest of my life.  A Fan First As I mentioned earlier, I’m an MMA fan. In fact, being a fan was actually how I eventually got into sports writing.  During my first year or so with ABS-CBN, I got wind of a show on Balls Channel entitled “The Takedown” which was, you guessed it, about the UFC. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that show, in any capacity. I even offered to research or write for free, LOL.  While I never did get to work on the show (because unfortunately, it lasted only a few episodes), I did get to make some connections (shoutout to Sir Lori, Ms. Jo, and Ms. Anna!) which eventually landed me a gig as a UFC writer for the Balls Channel Website. During that time, I got to meet and interview stars like BJ Penn, Alexander Gustafsson, Urijah Faber, Cung Le, and even Arianny Celeste. For an MMA fan like me, it was like working a dream job. It was a pretty sweet gig.  Eventually, that job with the Balls Channel Website would lead me to a spot on the ABS-CBN Sports Website which was launched in 2015. By 2016, I had started covering Asia-based MMA promotion ONE Championship quite a bit because ABS-CBN had signed a broadcast deal with them, and because ONE had a ton of homegrown Pinoy fighters on their roster, most notably Folayang and the Team Lakay guys.  Folayang, whose contract with ONE expired in March of 2016, re-signed with the promotion and returned to action in August, defeating Adrian Pang by Unanimous Decision in Macau. That win over Pang earned Folayang the biggest bout of his career at that point: a title shot against reigning champion Aoki.  When I learned of that title fight, I was very excited for Folayang, but had little expectations for his chances, being that Aoki was a legend in the sport.  Best Seat in the House Eduard Folayang finally getting to fight for a world championship was a huge deal for Filipino MMA fans, especially those that had followed the Baguio-based star’s career since his days in the URCC. The Pinoy star was on ONE’s first ever event, but could never seem to gain enough momentum to compete for a world title, until that point.  That November night in Singapore, all the years of work sacrifice that Folayang had put in during his nine-year MMA career would finally pay off.  This was only my second time to cover a ONE event overseas, so apart from having to write stories, I also had to take pictures. Learning from my past mistakes, I asked if I could have a spot cage-side so that I could take some at least decent photos. Thankfully, the ONE people agreed and gave me a spot just beside one of the judges’ tables.  I had the best seat in the house.  Now, as I said, I had tapered my expectations for the fight. I had seen what Aoki could do in the cage. I’ve seen the guy break peoples’ bones before, so honestly, I was just hoping that he wouldn’t injure Folayang. Our guy was the underdog heading into this fight, no doubt about it.  Of course, as a Filipino and as a fan I was hoping for a massive upset. The beautiful thing about MMA is anything can happen.  Shock The World This was legitimately the first time that I felt nervous covering a fight. It’s like that feeling you have when your favorite basketball team is in a close game with just seconds left.  That first round was a frigging whirlwind of emotions if you’re a Pinoy MMA fan. It looked like Aoki was within moments of being able to submit Folayang on multiple occasions.  The second round was a little bit more relaxed for Folayang, especially since he had been able to survive Aoki’s opening round grappling blitz. It looked like he was a bit more confident and he started to throw some of his trademark spinning kicks and elbows.  A miscalculated flying knee attempt led to another Aoki takedown, but this time around, Folayang appeared a little more calm and relaxed under the pressure.  Late in the round, Folayang began to attack Aoki’s torso with punches and kicks, and it looked like it had the Japanese legend a bit winded. The tide had shifted.  Heading into the third round, there was a different feeling in the air. It felt like Aoki was done, and it felt like Folayang knew it.  In the opening seconds of that fateful third frame, Folayang knew exactly what Aoki was going to do and had an answer for it. Aoki shot in for a takedown, and Folayang countered it with a jumping knee to the jaw.  For a brief second, Folayang was on his behind, but managed to outmuscle Aoki and deliver another vicious knee.  “Oh sh*t!” I yelled internally while scrambling to take photos of the ensuing beatdown.  Folayang turned Aoki over and began to connect with punch after unanswered punch.  Without taking my eye away from my camera’s viewfinder, I started yelling for Folayang to finish it.  Folayang continued to punish Aoki with piston-like punches as the Singapore Indoor Stadium began to erupt.  For what felt like an eternity, referee Yuji Shimada watched as Folayang unloaded nine years worth of heartbreak and frustration into a ground-and-pound sequence.  And then, it was over.  There was a new lightweight king.  AND NEW! EDUARD FOLAYANG STOPS SHINYA AOKI IN ROUND 3! — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) November 11, 2016     The Landslide Reigns As much as I would have wanted to keep it cool, I started to freak out. I looked to my right and saw my fellow Pinoy journalists doing the same, one was even standing on the table, cheering the new world champion on.  At that point, I had watched UAAP championships, NCAA championships, even some boxing world championships, but this one was different. I knew what Folayang had gone through. I knew that the odds were stacked against him.  As the confetti began to rain down and the celebration inside the ring continued, I recomposed myself and started to take pictures again. I wanted to be able to capture this moment.  After the official decision and the post-fight interview, I remember calling out to Folayang so that I could take a photo of him with his shiny new toy.  I’ve gotten to witness other members of Team Lakay become champions since then. I’ve been blessed enough to see Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon and Joshua Pacio all become titleholders within a single year. While getting to see Team Lakay draped in gold to end 2018 was definitely a sight to behold, being there cage side as ‘Manong Ed’ realized a life-long dream was definitely an experience that I won’t soon forget.  Folayang's title win wasn't Team Lakay's first world champmionship, and it isn't the last. For me however, I think it's the most important, because it showed that no matter how many times you fall, you can still find your way to the top.  Everyone loves a good underdog story.  -- Santino Honasan has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2015. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

Fil-Am pole vaulter bags gold in Atlanta

Fil-American bet Natalie Uy tied with two others after clearing 4.11 meters during the 19-29 years-old age-group women’s pole vault meet at the American Track League in Atlanta, Georgia last Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 29th, 2020

Simone Soars: Biles named 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year

By Will Graves, Associated Press They’re called “Simone Things,” a catchall phrase for the casual ease with which Simone Biles seems to soar through her sport and her life. The irony, of course, is that there’s nothing casual or easy about it. Any of it. The greatest gymnast of all time and 2019 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year only makes it seem that way. Those jaw-dropping routines that are rewriting her sport's code of points and redefining what can be done on the competition floor? Born from a mix of natural talent, hard work and a splash of ego. The 25 world championship medals, the most by any gymnast ever? The result of a promise the 22-year-old made to herself when she returned to competition in 2017 after taking time off following her golden run at the 2016 Olympics. The stoicism and grace she has shown in becoming an advocate for survivors — herself included — and an agent for change in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that’s shaken USA Gymnastics to its core? The byproduct of a conscious decision to embrace the immense clout she carries. “I realize now with the platform I have it will be powerful if I speak up and speak for what I believe in,” Biles told The Associated Press. “It’s an honor to speak for those that are less fortunate. So if I can be a voice for them in a positive manner, then of course I’m going to do whatever I can.” And it's that mission — combined with her otherworldly skill and boundless charisma — that's enabled Biles to keep gymnastics in the spotlight, a rarity for a sport that typically retreats into the background once the Olympic flame goes out. She is the first gymnast to be named AP Female Athlete of the Year twice and the first to do it in a non-Olympic year. Biles edged U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe in a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. Skiing star Mikaela Schiffrin placed third, with WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne fourth. Biles captured the award in 2016 following a showstopping performance at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she won five medals in all, four of them gold. She spent most of the following 12 months taking a break before returning to the gym in the fall of 2017, saying she owed it to herself to mine the depth of her talent. Check social media following one of her routines and you’ll find people -- from LeBron James to Michelle Obama to Chrissy Teigen -- struggling to distill what they’ve witnessed into 280 characters or fewer, with whatever they settle on typically followed by multiple exclamation points and a goat emoji, a nod to Biles being considered the Greatest Of All Time. Her triple-twisting double-flip (the “triple double”) at the end of her first tumbling pass on floor exercise is a wondrous blur. Her double-twisting double-flip beam dismount (the “double double”) is so tough the International Gymnastics Federation made the unusual decision to downplay its value in an effort to deter other gymnasts from even trying it. This is both the blessing and the curse of making the nearly impossible look tantalizingly attainable. When Biles learned about the FIG's decision, she vented on Twitter, her palpable frustration highlighting the realness she's maintained even as her first name has become synonymous with her sport's royalty. It can lead to a bit of a balancing act. In some ways, she's still the kid from Texas who just wants to hang out with her boyfriend and her dog and go to the grocery story without being bothered. In other ways, she's trying to be respectful of the world she's built. Take the GOAT thing. It’s a title she embraces — Biles wore a goat-themed leotard during training at the national championships in August — but also takes with a grain of salt, determined to stay grounded even as the hype around her grows. Yes, GOAT happens to be the acronym for her planned post-Olympic “Gold Over America Tour,” but ask her where the inspiration came from and she laughs and gives credit to a friend, Kevin, who came up with it in a group chat. It is both paying tribute to and winking at her status at the same time. Biles has become well aware over the last three years that her every word and action carries far greater weight than she ever imagined. Her most impactful moment of 2019 might not have come during a meet but sitting for an interview on the eve of winning her record sixth national title, when she fought back tears while talking about how USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the FBI failed to protect athletes during an investigation into Nassar's abusive behavior. The moment went viral, as most things surrounding her tend to do these days. “I’m starting to realize it’s not just the gymternet anymore,” Biles said, using the term for her sport's dedicated fans. "It’s an overall thing. It’s weird to get that kind of attention, but at the end of the day, I feel gymnastics has been overlooked in non-Olympic years. Yeah, it puts pressure on me. But I’m not trying to think about all the attention from the outside world.” The attention figures to only grow in the run-up to Tokyo, where she will attempt to become the first female gymnast in more than half a century to repeat as Olympic champion. Her smiling face serves as the exclamation point at the end of every television promo for the Summer Games. Let it be known: The smile is real. That might not have always been the case, but is is now. Heading into the final months of a singular career, she is trying to revel in the journey while anxiously awaiting what's next. Add it to the list of Simone Things. “I feel like this is the beginning of my life and I don’t want gymnastics to be my whole entire life,” she said. “I’m definitely going to soak in the moment and enjoy it so 10 years from now I can look back and say ‘I had the time of my life out there’ ... rather than ‘I was good, but I was miserable.’”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

SEA Games: PHI volleybelles relegated to battle for bronze

The Philippines kissed its gold medal hopes goodbye as 11-time defending champion Thailand turned back the Filipinas, 25-16, 25-22, 34-32, Thursday night in the 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s volleyball competition at the jampacked PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. Even with the overwhelming odds against the finest team in the region, the Nationals, specifically team captain Aby Marano, stayed true to their promise to give the Thais a match to remember with a gallant stand until the bitter end as the Philippines saw its championship round bid go down the drain with its second straight defeat. Thailand set up a gold medal duel with Vietnam, the other unbeaten team after two outings, for a rematch of their 2015 Singapore edition championship battle. The Thais are now on its 15th straight gold medal match appearance Vietnam, which defeated Indonesia 20-25, 25-14, 19-25, 25-18, 15-6, in the curtain-raiser, and Thailand clash on Saturday in a preview of their gold medal clash. Alyssa Valdez, who scored five points in the closing stretch including the country's last of five set point advantages in the third set, finished with 14 points with 12 coming off attacks and added 12 digs while Mylene Paat had 11 points off eight kills and two kill blocks for the Philippines. Marano and Majoy Baron posted seven markers each for  the Nationals. “Sobrang nakaka-proud kasi like every huddle namin pinag-uusapan namin, ‘Maglaro lang kayo i-enjoy natin, give your 100 percent kasi wala naman mawawala eh.’ Yun nga pakiramdam namin eh,” said PHI coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Kung matatalo ka nakakalungkot pero yung pakiramdam namin na nakapag-perform kami ng napakaganda especially yung mga players grabe yung ginawa and then marami kaming napasayang tao, nakakatuwa kasi nakikita namin yung improvement every game." “’Yun din naman goal namin hanggang ma reach namin kung ano kaya namin this SEA Games,” he added. The Thais found the Nationals a tough nut to crack the whole match. The Filipinas breathed down Thailand's neck 17-21, in the third set after a Mylene Paat back-to-back hit and a Majoy Baron ace as the Nationals fought back from a 13-19 deficit. Maddie Madayag, Valdez and Jovelyn Gonzaga saved three match points to close in, 24-22, as Thailand called time. Valdez scored off a cross and Gonzaga forced a deuce before Thailand committed a line fault to give the Philippines the set point advantage. Veteran Wilavan Apinyapong stopped Thailand's bleeding with a down the line kill. An unsuccessful challenge by PHI head coach Shaq Delos Santos resulted on another Thai match point before Valdez knotted it at 26 with an off the block kill. Pimpichaya Kokram scored for Thailand but Valdez tied it again at 27. Kokram scored on the next play before Majoy Baron countered with a monster block for 28-28 count. Thailand committed an attack error before tying it again, 29-29. Mylene Paat got a kill block only to see Thailand force another deuce. Chatchu-on Moksri sent her service short but Thailand evened the set again at 31. Valdez hammered a kill for another PHI set point advantage, but Madayag crumbled under the pressure, overcooking her serve for a 32-32 tie. Kokram pounded a down the line hit before Wilavan sealed the edge-of-your-seat match with an off speed.                Kokram had 19 points with 17 coming off attacks while Apinyapong got 15 with all but one comin off kills for Thailand. The Thais looked poised for a walk in the park domination of the same squad they had been beating in the biennial meet since dethroning the Filipinas in 1995, in what turned out to be the start of their now-two and a half decade stranglehold of the crown, after taking a 21-9 advantage in the first set following an Alyssa Valdez attack error. Marano, who after losing to Vietnam in five sets vowed to give the Thais a memorable match on home soil, anchored an inspired rally to somehow close the gap, 16-23, on a kill block. But the Thais countered to extinguish the fight from the Filipinas. Fueled by the cheering home crowd, the Nationals sprung to life in the second set with libero Dawn Macandili providing one of the highlights as she dove head first to the stands trying to retrieve the ball to no avail.    Her effort fired up her teammates to give the Thais a scare with the Philippines taking what turned out to be its biggest lead in the duel, 13-10, capped by back-to-back hits by Majoy Baron. Then the Thais did what they do best. The Philippines will take on Indonesia, also winless in two games, on Saturday in a sneak peek of the bronze medal battle. The medal round is on Monday.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

SEA Games: PHI woodpushers ready to claim mints

The climb is steep, but the Philippines hopes to win some of the medals at stake when chess returns to the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games after being absent in two editions of the biennial meet.  Well-prepared teams in the rapid and blitz competitions are expected to boost the host country's efforts to come up with a podium finish. “So far so good. We're doing well in our mental and physical preparations,” said Women's International Master Catherine Secopito, the skipper of the women’s squad.  The 34-year-old Secopito is playing with Shania Mendoza in the rapid events. She is a remnant of past national teams which have been fielded back in the 2005, 2011 and 2013, the last time chess was played in the biennial meet in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where they bagged two silver and two bronze medals.  Secopito, who has an ELO rating of 2127, had a bronze medal in 2005.  Their coaches Jayson Gonzales and Grandmaster Eugene Torre have been prepping them up with blitz players Janelle Frayna and Cherry Ann Mejia.  International Master Daniel Quizon will be also part of a younger generation of players in the national team, together with IM David Elorta. They are lined up in the blitz event. IM Paulo Bersamina and FIDE Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia, on the other hand, will compete in the rapid event.  Grandmasters Joey Antonio and Darwin Laylo, meanwhile, compete in the ASEAN chess event. Antonio, Jr., for one, is keeping himself sharp competing in the 2019 World Senior Chess Championship in Bucharest.  The last time the Philippines hosted the SEA Games, Vietnam swept all of the six gold medals up for grabs. And the Vietnamese are again going flat out in the coming chess competitions slated from Dec. 1 to 8 at the Subic Convention Center, where they will be fielding Quang Liem Le and Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen.  Le is currently the no. 1-ranked player in Vietnam and no. 21 in the world. He is the 2013 World Blitz Chess champion.  “It will be tough, but we'll make the best effort out there, na maganda ang preparation at psychologically prepared,” Torre said.  GM Wesley So, who now represents the United States, was the last Filipino to win a SEA Games gold during the 2011 Indonesia SEA Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal happy to see growth in Philippine skateboarding scene

Twenty-year old Margielyn Didal was one of the Philippine contingent's biggest stars during last year's Asian Games in Jakarta/Palembang.  The Cebuana was one of four Filipina athletes to take home a gold medal, representing the tri-colors in an event that wasn't necessarily a popular sport in the Philippines: street skateboarding.  Nearly a year since, the Philippine skateboarding scene is seemingly getting more and more traction, and Didal's success on the big stage served as a catalyst.  "I think the Philippine skateboarding scene, malaki siya, and it’s getting bigger and bigger, especially because they put it in the Olympics, and some parents are interested in putting their kids into skateboarding now," Didal shared during a media scrum at the New Balance Numeric Asia Specific Tour, Friday afternoon in Manila. "I’m super hyped na mas lumaki yung skate scene and mas nabigyan ng pansin." Since becoming an Asian Games gold medalist, life has not been the same for Didal, who has continued to compete with the hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.  "It [has been] hectic, with schedule and skate events especially, for these qualification and ranking for the Olympics. I’m super happy about that, getting support from the Philippine government." she said.  For Didal, the busy life is all worth it, especially since the Philippine skateboarding scene is getting some shine along with it.  "Sobrang mas naging busy yung life, pero mas naging okay kasi nabigyan ng pansin nga yun skateboarding dito sa Pilipinas, kasi dati, wala lang." "Before hindi naman sport yung skateboarding. Skateboarding is to have fun. Even now, we’re still having fun, in a good way naman na we’re getting support, we’re getting exposure, at mas lumaki pa nga, tsaka skateboarding kasi, sobrang saya. Hindi ko na-expect na gagawin siyang sport, and from this, I’ve changed my life a lot, and my family’s," she continued.  As such, Didal has become an inspiration to aspiring skaters in the Philippines. Pinoy skateboarders, young and young at heart alike, trooped to the press conference with hopes of getting to meet, and take photos with Didal as well as the other members of the New Balance Skate Team, including Jamie Foy and Franky Villiani.  Seeing the turnout was an amazing feeling for the young Filipina skater.  "Sa mga kids din diyan na naiinspire ng mga pro-skaters katulad ni Jamie Foy, it’s such an honor and it feels amazing na may na-iinspire kami na mga kids or mga other skaters din na gusto mag-skate or yung nag-stop mag-skate and gusto bumalik dahil nami-miss nila yung feeling pag-skateboard." It wasn't only the fans that took notice of Didal's success, but also her hometown's government. Following her Asian Games gold, the Cebu City government pledged the construction of a skate park, which will not only hopefully develop even more future medalists, but also keep them from skating in potentially dangerous places like the streets and main throroughfare.  "It’s such an honor to represent the Philippines, especially for me, I grew up in my hometown without a skate park, getting chased by security, but still, we made it, and now they recognize us and give us the support. That’s overwhelming, na nakita nila lahat, na gusto nila mag-build ng skate park for all skaters," Didal said of the development.  Apart from bringing honor to the country, Didal was also able to show the world that while skating is mainly a male-dominated sport, the girls can hang as well.  "Before, it’s kinda [considered] as male stuff, now there are girl skaters growing all over the world, and it’s good, seeing these girls skating, shredding with them in big events, it’s cool that these girls can skate." Barely in her 20s, Didal still has a lot more skating to do in her career, but already, she has an idea of what she wants her legacy to be when it's all said and done, and that's to have been able to share her talent and her knowledge to the next crop of star skaters.  "I want to share my talent sa ibang tao," Didal expressed. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2019

ONE Championship: Mixed martial arts gold could be on the horizon for two-sport champion Stamp Fairtex

In just two matches under the ONE Championship banner, Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex has already achieved history by becoming the promotion’s first and only two-sport champion after capturing the ONE Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Championships.   Now, the 21-year old could be setting her sights on a third world title: the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship in mixed martial arts.   “I do have plans of getting the third belt, the mixed martial arts World Championship,” Stamp shared. “This third belt will be the most difficult belt for me to get because there are many great fighters in ONE, and mixed martial arts is not my strong point, so this is where I have to improve my wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and mixed martial arts.”   “If I fight in mixed martial arts, I know that everyone will try to take me down and fight on the ground. I will have to try harder and harder to climb up and get some experience before I fight for the belt,” she added.   Already in ONE’s history books, Stamp sees becoming a champion in mixed martial arts as an even bigger deal.   “If I win the belt, it will be my greatest achievement,” she said.   Before thinking about a world title in mixed martial arts however, Stamp will need to focus on defending one of her two belts in the ONE Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship.   Stamp puts her title on the line against Australian teenager Alma Juniku in the main event of ONE: Legendary Quest this Saturday, 15 June at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China.   “I am preparing hard for this bout, especially since it will be a title defense. I respect Alma and I know what she can bring to the table, but I also know what I am capable of and I have the utmost belief in my skills,” Stamp stated.   “Alma is very patient in her approach, and we have developed a gameplan to be able to use that patience to our advantage. Alma has impeccable timing and her counters are indeed dangerous, but I have nothing but faith in myself, my camp, and my coaches, and I am confident that I can overcome a tough challenger like Alma,” she continued.   For the young Thai champion, her motivation lies in not letting the people behind her down. Stamp knows that being a champion means being a marked woman, and she understands that part of the being the best is preparing for all comers.   “Everyone has high hopes for me. I can’t let my family, Fairtex, and my fans down. I have to keep training hard and learn something new every day so I can keep retaining my belts. I know everyone wants to come for these belts and they will be in perfect condition and will have the perfect gameplan, so for me, I have to stay focused and I have to be ready for anything.” Catch Stamp Fairtex put her ONE Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship on the line against challenger Alma Juniku at ONE: Legendary Quest on Saturday, June 15th at 11:00 PM. Full event broadcast will be on Sunday, Jun 16th at 8:00 PM  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2019

Meggie Ochoa bags bronze in 2019 World Jiu-jitsu Championship

MANILA, Philippines – Meggie Ochoa copped a bronze in the 2019 World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California.  The Filipina jiu-jitsu practitioner was on track for a gold medal in the -48.5kg brown belt division, but she had to settle for 3rd place after getting disqualifed ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 5th, 2019

PH bags six medals in Asian Wushu meet

The Philippine wushu team brought home six medals in the just-concluded 9th Asian Wushu Championships in Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei. Divine Wally of Baguio City delivered the gold medal in the female Sanda 48kg. division after beating Vietnam’s L.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 6th, 2016

Cray bags gold in Texas Tech tourney

Eric Cray came up with his season’s best over the weekend as he stayed on the hunt for an Olympic qualifying berth......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated News9 hr. 33 min. ago

AUK bags 18 gold medals in Hakuakai International Karate Championships

CEBU CITY, Philippines—One of Cebu’s vaunted karate-do team, the Association for the Upliftment of Karate-Do (AUK) put on a sterling performance in the recent 4th Annual Hakuakai International Karate Championships E-Kata & E-Fantom Kumite held last April 24 to 25, 2021.  The online karate-do tournament drew karate-do clubs from the Philippines, South Borneo, Iraq-Kurdistan, Macau-China […] The post AUK bags 18 gold medals in Hakuakai International Karate Championships appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 27th, 2021

Knott, Cray deliver season-best clockings

Southeast Asian Games double-gold medalist Kristina Knott continued to progress in her quest to meet the Tokyo Olympics cut in both the 100 and 200 meters after a strong effort in the LSU Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rogue, Louisiana yesterday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 26th, 2021

Boholana Sarno bags two gold medals in Asian Weightlifting Championships

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Boholana weightlifter Vanessa Sarno made waves in the international scene, winning two gold medals for the Philippines in the ongoing Asian Weightlifting Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  The 17-year old Tagbilaran City native finished her campaign in the women’s 71-kilogram division impressively by lifting a total of 229kg and had a 128kg clean […] The post Boholana Sarno bags two gold medals in Asian Weightlifting Championships appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2021

Heir to Hidilyn s throne: Sarno bags 2 golds, 1 silver in Asian Weightlifting Championships

Teenage sensation Vanessa Sarno scooped up two gold medals and a silver Wednesday night in the women’s 71-kilogram division of the Asian Weightlifting Championships.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 21st, 2021

Sarno bags 2 golds in Asian Weightlifting Championships

Vanessa Sarno delivered an impressive performance after clinching two gold medals in the women’s 71-kg division of the Asian Weightlifting Championship late Wednesday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The 17-year-old Bohol native claimed the gold medals in clean and jerk with a lift of 121 kgs and for total lift with 229 kgs to steal the thunder […] The post Sarno bags 2 golds in Asian Weightlifting Championships appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 21st, 2021

Tsukii kicks way to Serbian meet gold

Filipino-Japanese Junna Tsukii continued to make significant strides in her quest for a Tokyo Olympic berth as she topped the Golden Belt Karate tournament in Cacak, Serbia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 28th, 2021

Davao exacts revenge against San Juan, bags MPBL Lakan title

By Jeremiah Sevilla The sweet payback has been completed.  Mark Yee fired the championship-winning three as Davao Occidental-Cocolife dethroned San Juan-Go For Gold with an 89-88 overtime victory in Game 4 of the MPBL Lakan Cup National Finals on Sunday night, March 21, at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.  Veteran forward Yee sank the go-ahead triple […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsMar 21st, 2021

Ennahachi retains gold after 5-round thriller at ONE: FISTS OF FURY

Ilias “Tweety” Ennahachi survived a tough stand from “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo and walked out of the Singapore Indoor Stadium with the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship still around his waist.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2021