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China& rsquo;s 1981 women& rsquo;s volleyballers & lsquo;inspired a billion& rsquo;

Shanghai, China---On November 16, 1981, millions of people across China crowded around radios and televisions with flickering signals for a women’s volleyball match whose significance went far beyond sport......»»

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardMar 5th, 2021

Patriots owner s prostitution case heads to appellate court

By TERRY SPENCER Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with twice buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes will attempt to save their case this week by arguing to an appeals court that his rights weren't violated when police secretly video-recorded him in the act. Prosecutors will tell the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal during an online hearing Tuesday that a county judge erred when he invalidated the January 2019 search warrant allowing police to install secret cameras at Orchids of Asia spa as part of an alleged sex trafficking investigation. The judge said the warrant didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages, and he barred the videos’ use at trial as well as testimony about what they showed. If the ruling stands, it will deal a fatal blow to the prosecution's case. “Mr. Kraft's guilt is a virtual certainty” and he has no right to benefit from any possible mistakes police made involving innocent customers, Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa wrote in court documents. Kraft's attorneys vehemently disagreed, arguing that if the three-justice panel allows the videos' use, “civil liberties cherished in Florida and beyond” will be endangered. “If the state wins this appeal, then everyone loses, not just the accused,” attorney Frank Shepherd wrote. “Government could run roughshod over privacy and constitutional rights while evading scrutiny.” The Jupiter police recordings led to misdemeanor charges against Kraft and two dozen other alleged Orchids of Asia customers. The spa owners and some employees are charged with prostitution-related felonies. Most cases are in limbo while the appeals are heard. If prosecutors can’t use the videos, they would almost certainly dismiss any misdemeanor charges awaiting trial. Some defendants took plea deals but Kraft refused. The felony cases could proceed, as those have other evidence besides the videos. Kraft, a 79-year-old widower and part-time Palm Beach resident, has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology. He faces a possible one-year jail sentence if convicted, but would likely receive a fine, community service and other sanctions. Kraft, whom Forbes Magazine ranks as the 82nd richest American with a worth of almost $7 billion, is employing several high-priced attorneys to fight the charges. DeSousa submitted several arguments against Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser's ruling. Among them: — The warrant is valid because police minimized any privacy invasion by having only three detectives monitor video. Any further minimization, such as recording only snippets of each massage, would have made the investigation impossible. — Kraft illegally paid for sex and is lawfully covered by the warrant, even if the justices determine police violated innocent customers' privacy rights. — If the warrant is invalid, the detectives relied on it “in good faith” and a sanction banning the video is too extreme. Shepherd submitted several counterarguments for Kraft. They include: — Detectives' privacy protection efforts were insufficient because they recorded seminude men and women receiving legal massages, making the Kraft recordings also illegal. — Police had enough evidence to charge the spa owners with felonies without recording, making the cameras “wholly gratuitous." — The evidence detectives presented to obtain the magistrate's warrant approval was “deliberately misleading,” negating any argument they acted in good faith. The justices won’t immediately rule after the hearing; decisions usually takes weeks. The losing side will likely appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, which could accept the case or let the justices’ ruling stand. Authorities say the Orchids of Asia investigation was part of a multicounty probe into possible sex trafficking by spa owners who they believe brought women from China and elsewhere to work as prostitutes. About 300 people were charged with various felonies and misdemeanors, but no trafficking charges were pursued — prosecutors say they received no cooperation from masseuses whom they suspect were trafficked. According to police, Kraft's chauffeur drove him to Orchids of Asia on the evening of Jan. 19, 2019, where detectives recorded him engaging in a sex act with two women and then paying an undetermined amount in cash. Investigators said Kraft returned the next morning and engaged in recorded sex acts with a woman before paying with a $100 bill and another bill. Hours later, Kraft was in Kansas City for the AFC Championship game, where his Patriots defeated the Chiefs. His team then won the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Patriots’ sixth NFL championship under his ownership. Prosecutors offered to drop the charges if Kraft entered a diversion program for first-time offenders. That would include an admission he would be found guilty if the case went to trial, a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and attending a class on the dangers of prostitution and its connection to human trafficking. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday on the court's YouTube channel......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020

CAMPEONE: Year of the Tiger (2010)

(This story was originally published on May 09, 2019) University of Sto. Tomas head coach Shaq delos Santos looked at his squad inside the dugout of The Arena in San Juan one last time. It was a cool Saturday afternoon. He took a glimpse at his graduating hitter Angge Tabaquero, who was all pumped up, but was feeling under the weather and could barely speak because of a sore throat. Delos Santos then shifted his eyes towards fourth-year team captain Aiza Maizo, Maika Ortiz, libero Jessica Curato, then to his prized rookies Dindin Santiago and Maru Banaticla. From their closed locker room, the Tigresses could hear the drums outside and felt the vibration that followed. The weekend crowd packed the venue in a sea of yellow and green. Excitement filled the air. It was electric. Less than an hour before, coach Emil Lontoc celebrated the Tigers’ conquest of Far Eastern University to complete a three-peat in the men's division. With his eyes closed, Delos Santos murmured one last prayer. Then there was a soft tap on their dugout door. It was time to march to the court for the official warm-up for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 72 women’s volleyball tournament.   THE YOUNG AND THE BOLD Delos Santos knew that they’re in for ride in Season 72.   They prided themselves with three pre-season titles, but those conquests meant nothing when it comes to their mother league. “Before mag-start (ang season), for me, hindi ko napi-feel na magtsa-champion agad kami,” said Delos Santos. “Kasi ang adjustment kailangan makita mo muna ang lahat ng naglalaro. So depende pa rin sa nilalaro ng every team na makakalaban mo.” And besides, the mentor will be navigating with a young crew, mostly in their early collegiate careers save for Maizo and returning Tabaquero, two of the remaining heroes of UST’s Season 69 championship run. Maizo was named team captain while Tabaquero, who skipped Season 71 for personal reasons, brought in the needed veteran presence to guide the squad. “Ako personally ang mindset ko sobrang hungry lang rin ako personally and I think si Aiza rin kasi halos pa-exit na rin siya nun,” said Tabaquero. “Ako sobrang gusto ko lang for myself na maka-graduate sa UAAP on a high note.” “On a high lang ako nun kumbaga, ‘Last playing year ko na ‘to wala na akong balikan pa, ibubuhos ko na lahat,’ she added. “Plus the fact na hindi ako nakapaglaro noong Season 71 dagdag gutom sa akin ‘yun.” But then again, the Tigresses remained relatively young. Dimaculangan was just in her third year, her first two saw the bitter memory of losing the title in the semifinals at the hands of the Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University and then another Final Four heartache against the same tormentors the following year. Ortiz, Hannah Mance and Curato barely had enough experience on them so did Judy Ann Caballejo.   Then there were the young bloods. UST got a pair of blue-chip recruits in a small but high-flying power-hitter in Banaticla and a lanky 6-footer Santiago.   The Tigresses were parading a decent squad, but not a super team that they had before with Mary Jean Balse and Venus Bernal.       “Nagkaroon kami ng mga rookies noon,” said Dimaculangan. “Nu’ng time na ‘yun kumpiyansa naman ako sa team kasi bakit ka pa maghahanap ng mga wala o bakit ka pa hahanap ng mga naka-graduate na? So kung ano na lang ang meron kami siguro doon na lang.” Delos Santos, himself, was just on his second year as head coach after taking the reins from legendary mentor August Sta. Maria, who suffered a stroke in 2008. Expectations were high from the UST faithful. For the Tigresses, they just have to deliver.   STRUGGLE WITHIN The Tigresses began the season with an early litmus test. Their first game: against the defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers. UST faced a squad assembled to build a dynasty. DLSU was denied of a four-peat three years ago when the league suspended the school in Season 69 because of an eligibility issue with its men’s basketball team. In Season 70, the Lady Spikers were forced to forfeit games because of another eligibility issue with Jacq Alarca. The following year, in Manilla Santos’ final year, DLSU reclaimed the throne. Now, looking to for a repeat, the Lady Spikers just need to break the will of one of their threats. DLSU paraded a formidable team centered on its ‘Big Three’ in Alarca, skipper Paneng Mercado, daughter of Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado, and versatile hitter Cha Cruz. Then there’s the great wall of Michele Gumabao and rookies Aby Marano and Joanne Siy, who would eventually win the Rookie of the Year and Best Blocker awards. UST was facing a nightmare. But the Tigresses were undaunted. They clung on the confidence of bringing down the same giant they slew in the UniGames championship before the start of the season. With guns blazing and adrenaline in their veins, the Tigresses were able to control the match as they led, 2-1. Then comes their Achilles’ heel. UST was a determined team, but the Lady Spikers had in them the championship experience, the veteran composure of a battle-tested squad. The Tigresses had no answer to that. DLSU walked away with a 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11, victory to start its amazing elimination round winning streak. UST recovered in the next three games, walking past University of the Philippines, a rebuilding FEU, and cellar-dwellers National University. Then came another big challenge. The Tigresses collided with a feisty young team in Ateneo de Manila University bannered by a hyped Fab Five of sophomores Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, setter Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi. The result was a shocker: the Lady Eagles upset the Tigresses. It may not show inside the court, but the Tigresses were struggling from the inside.   Delos Santos admitted that being a Tigress under his watch was not for the faint of heart. His relationship with the players was not smooth. He was a blacksmith trying to sharpen a deadly weapon. He needed to put his players into the blazing fire of his Spartan-like training, hammer them into shape and sharpen them into a weapon ready for brutal war.       “Napaka-strict ko kaya medyo ano sila sa akin pero at the end of the day na-realize rin nila na ang lahat ng sinasalihan naming tournament, lahat ng paghihirap namin, kapag naglalaro kami talagang quality,” he said. “’Yung pinaghirapan namin talagang nilalabas namin sa game.” Dimaculangan recalled that that season was marred with conflicts within the team. “’Yung year na 'yun ang dami talagang pinagdaanan. Ang daming naging issues,” she said declining to divulge what the problems were. “Lahat kami takot sa kanya (Delos Santos). Tapos my time din na feeling namin nabe-burnout na kami.” “Baliktad nga eh kasi kung kailan ang dami naming issue doon pa namin nasabi na ‘Ay kailangan nating mag-champion.’ Ganoon ang feeling namin,” Dimaculangan added. Tabaquero would simply describe that Tigresses team as ‘shaky’. “On the rocks ang team and noon may internal issues din,” she revealed. “Medyo magulo siya pero as players, ‘Kung may mangyari man dyan, labas na sa volleyball ‘yan. Kung ano ang pini-perform natin maglaro tayo ng maayos.’ Siguro yun na lang ang tumatakbo sa isip namin.” Whatever the issues were inside their team, the Tigresses were able to put them aside as they made an amazing run to close the eliminations. “Nagulat kami kasi sobrang nakasabay ang mga bata,” said Tabaquero. “Kami ni Aiza halos ang nag-lead sa team na ‘yun pero kasi experienced na ang mga bata na ‘yun kasi coming from UST program sila eh.” “So medyo kumbaga ang pinanggalingan nilang team mataas din so I guess doon na lang din sila humugot from their experience sa high school. Nadala na lang din siguro pagdating nila,” she added.   ENTERING THE END GAME Valentine’s Day. With most of the country looking forward to celebrate that special Sunday, the Tigresses were preparing for something bigger. It was their most-awaited rematch with the Lady Spikers, who heading into that game were already ravaging the league with 13 straight victories. One win and DLSU will enter the Finals outright armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage.   The Tigresses didn’t allow that. UST prevented a Lady Spikers elims sweep by slipping past DLSU in a thrilling five-setter. The Tigresses avoided a stepladder semifinals. UST ended the elims with a nine-game winning streak and second-best 12-2 win-loss record. From there everything changed. “Kasi nakuha nila (ang panalo) sa first round then February 14 tinalo namin sila so dun tumaas ang kumpiyansa namin na ‘Ah kaya namin itong La Salle,’” said Tabaquero. The Tigresses came in the Final Four armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against Ateneo. They split their elims head-to-head but now UST wanted to settle an old score. It was Maizo and Tabaquero who did most of the damage in the Final Four as the Tigresses crushed the Lady Eagles, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, all while playing without starting libero Curato, who was out because of typhoid fever. “I guess kung ikaw mayroon kang chance na makapasok sa championship siguro ibibigay mo ang lahat. Laban kung laban,” said Tabaquero. “’Yun talaga ang mentalidad namin nu’ng time na yun. ‘Yun ang nag-push sa amin na, ‘For championship ito, ibibigay namin ang lahat 110%.’” Earlier that playdate, the Lady Spikers took the other Finals berth after booting out Adamson University, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.         "EH ANO NGAYON KUNG DEFENDING CHAMPION KAYO?" Maizo and Tabaquero were UST’s contrasting leaders. They're yin and yang. Maizo was a silent operator. She would rather let her work do the talking. Tabaquero was from a different world. She will get under your skin, play with your head and she was just plain nasty. “Season 69 pa lang salbahe na ako maglaro,” she admitted. “Dun lumabas ‘yung moniker ko na ‘Pamewang Queen’. Sobrang intense lang din ng game namin ng FEU nun. Parang sobrang thrashtalkan. Hindi mo man makita on-cam pero doon pa lang talagang may verbal.” She’s no different in Season 72. “Hindi naman sa mayabang ako pero nasa utak ko nu’ng time na yun, ‘Ay kaya namin kayo kasi tinalo namin kayo nu’ng eliminations,’” Tabaquero continued.  “Doon ako humugot ng lakas na, ‘hindi tayo papatalo rito.’ Sobrang inspired lang din siguro akong maglaro noon kasi ang daming tao nun. Grabe puno itong San Juan Arena,” she recalled.    Facing DLSU, Tabaquero knew they can rip the crown off the Lady Spikers’ heads. “Ako personally, ‘Eh ano ngayon kung defending champion kayo?” she said. It was 2010 and UST just needed to look at the Chinese calendar for an inspiration.    “Year of the Tiger yun, sumakto,” said Dimaculangan. “Iba ang kompiyansa namin na parang amin ‘to.” The Tigresses could see the stars aligning for them, the opportunity was there. Then came the best-of-three series opener. Delos Santos was not new to the Finals. He worked as Sta. Maria’s deputy before. But this was his biggest challenge. His shining moment. Looking back, he felt that Sta. Maria molded him for this situation. “Before nakakuha rin kami ng isa pang championship eh. Sina Bernal, Balse pero si Coach August ang head coach pa nun that time,” he said. “Ang ginawa niya that time sobrang gusto niyang mag-grow ako. Noong Finals namin against FEU, umalis siya. Hindi siya nagpunta ng game tapos nung mag-start na ang game hinahanap ko siya,” Delos Santos continued. “Tinawagan ko siya, sabi ko, ‘Boss nasaan ka?’ Nasa norte siya eh parteng norte." "Sabi ko, ‘boss nasaan ka?’ Sabi niya, ‘kayang-kaya mo na ‘yan. Ikaw ng bahala dyan,’” he said. “’Yung time na yun doon ko na-feel na grabe ang tiwala niya sa akin.” Against a taller Lady Spikers side, Delos Santos needed just one key to success: speed. “I think that time sobrang lucky ko rin kasi ang mga players ko. Yun nga sina Rhea na, sina Tabaquero, sina Aiza. So that time yung system na gusto naming mangyari, more on lalo na kailangang maging speedy kami. Mabilis kami, nakuha namin that time. Siguro yun ang naging key,” he said. “Kasi knowing La Salle ang no. 1 weapon nila is blocking eh. Bukod dun sa service nila na napakabigat, yung blocking. Mayroon silang malalaking players and ang ganda lagi ng line-up nila,” Delos Santos said. As the battle ensued, Delos Santos felt that they had the upper hand. “I think nu’ng time na ‘yun medyo na-feel ko na makukuha namin,” he said. “That time na naglaro na kami sabi ko, sa galawan na nangyayari nakuha namin yung magandang diskarte.” And that strategy was to exploit the height disadvantage of DLSU setter Kaye Martinez. For Delos Santos the best way to stop the Lady Spikers’ deadly arrows was to break their bow.  “That time malalaki sila pero meron silang maliit na setter. Maliit ang setter nila so more on dun kami nagsi-set play ng nagsi-set play,” he said. “Nagkaroon din kami ng magandang receive and then si Rhea nabibigay niya ng maayos sa mga spikers.”  It was shocker. UST recovered from a set down to beat DLSU, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21.   For the first time in Season 72, the Taft-based squad got its back against the wall.   SHAQ THE WORLD The Tigresses were on a high as they arrived at the game venue in the last weekend of February just three days after shocking the Lady Spikers in the series opener.     Entering the venue, the Tigresses were greeted by a huge crowd of UST faithful, all hoping for the clincher.  Tabaquero was feeling ill that day. “Naalala ko may sakit ako nu’ng Game 2. Wala akong boses nun,” said the senior, who skipped Thursday’s practice to rest. But Tabaquero was determined to play one last time, give her team the firepower and angst it needed, to finish her collegiate career on top.   “Wala ng sakit-sakit, di pwedeng may sakit. Di ko na siya nararamdaman. Minsan napapagod pero wala kailangang magsakripisyo. Saka yung adrenaline ko sobrang taas nun,” said Tabaquero. As the Tigresses trooped to the court for the warm-up, they were showered by loud cheers from the UST fans. “Go USTe! Go USTe!” echoed inside the arena like a rolling thunder signaling the arrival of a storm. A serenade for conquering heroes. There was a huge banner that read: ‘Kami po ang University of Sto. Tomas.’ It added fuel to the Tigresses’ burning desire to reclaim the throne. The squad came into the venue brimming with confidence but with their supporters egging them on even before the opening serve, the Tigresses felt invincible. They were. UST dismantled the confused Lady Spikers in the first two sets, dominating DLSU with sharp angled attacks and frustrating its blockers. Defensively, the Tigresses were punishing DLSU’s attackers. “Dumipensa lang talaga kami noon saka nagkaroon kami ng first ball. ‘Yun talaga ang edge namin nun,” said Dimaculangan. “Kumbaga parang hindi ako masyadong nahirapang dumiskarte kasi alam kong darating sa akin ang bola.” The Lady Spikers’ defense was also in disarray. Even DLSU’s celebrated libero Mel Gohing, the rookie of the year the season before, was already struggling to keep up with the Lady Spikers’ net defense collapsing. “Yung mga spikers ko ang gagaling din dumiskarte and alam din nila kung ano ang gagawin nila sa bolang ibinibigay ko sa kanila,” added Dimaculangan. The Tigresses were already smelling blood.   But the Lady Spikers regrouped in the third as hitters Cruz and Mercado’s hits found their mark. Gumabao, Siy and Maarano were holding their own. DLSU took the third frame in dominating fashion. It may have turned the tides around for the Lady Spikers. It didn’t.      DLSU built an early five-point cushion in the fourth frame, but the Tigresses raced to a 16-11 lead before Gumabao stopped the bleeding with a crosscourt hit.  Maizo then landed an off speed hit over blockers Siy and Martinez, then the lefty again scored another heady off speed this time over Alarca for an 18-12 lead. Then came the deluge of errors by DLSU. The Lady Spikers crowd went quiet in the pivotal run of the Tigresses. A kill block by Ortiz put UST at championship point, 24-13, as the DLSU faithful froze, seemingly awaiting an inevitable defeat. “Parang pa-last point pa lang ata naiiyak na kaming lahat,” said Dimaculangan. An overexcited Tabaquero sent her serve long then Maizo’s attack was turned back. Two match points saved by DLSU. The Lady Spikers tried to hold on. But it was too late. Nerves got the best of Emeli Zuno as she made contact with the ball at the service line.       It sailed long. Pandemonium broke out. “Nagtatalon na kami nu’ng moment na yun, na ‘Heto na ang pinaghirapan natin.’ Ang sarap sa feeling na mag-champion ulit,” said Tabaquero after the final whistle of the season was called with UST completing the sweep with a 25-18, 25-14, 16-25, 25-15, victory.   For Delos Santos that championship was the fruit of their hard labor. “Sobrang happy kasi siyempre nagkaroon kami ng championship sa UST,” said Delos Santos of his only title for the Tigresses as head coach. “Sobrang memorable. Marami rin kaming pinagdaanan (bago makuha),” he added. UST accomplished a double-crown feat in volleyball that year, its fifth since the 1976-77, 1985-86 at 1987-88 and 1992-1993 seasons. As a reward the Tigresses earned a trip to Hong Kong. But even that trip had some good anecdotes for Delos Santos, Dimaculangan and Tabaquero. “Nag-trip to Hong Kong kami for two to three days sa Disneyland at Ocean Park,” said Delos Santos. “Sila lang mahilig mag-rides eh. Ako may phobia ako sa heights. Nung sumakay kami ng cable car para akong mahuhulog na ewan dun sa cable car.” Dimaculangan remembered vividly their flight. “Nag-Hong Kong kami noon tapos sakto pa na bumabagyo noong umalis kami noon. Buti nga natuloy kami noon eh,” she said. As for Tabaquero, unfortunately, she had to skip the trip. “Nagpunta sila ng Hong Kong pero ako di ako nakasama kasi late yung Hong Kong trip. Di ako nakasama kasi na-ACL (left injury) na ako nun sa Shakey’s V-League, yung sa championship ng San Sebastian,” she said. “Naka-schedule na ako ng surgery nun sa UST hospital kaya di ako nakasama.” “May incentive naman ako nun kahit di ako nakasama nun,” Tabaquero cleared. Ten years ago, UST ruled Season 72. It was the year of the Tiger. The year of the mighty, mighty Tigers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

Sports brand launches new running campaign

Manila, Philippines (February 2020) - This month, adidas looks to invite runners to reframe the meaning of ‘Fast’ with the launch of its latest campaign, Faster Than_, which shines a light on the inspiring self-betterment stories of runners around the world. Representing an empowered, democratized running community, of which only 19% stated they run for a fast time, these new faces of ‘Fast’ share the belief that ‘Fast is a personal feeling’. It is not always about personal best – for many, running is all about personal betterment adidas has long understood and celebrated the transformative power of running. Now, to mark the launch of the brand’s unmissable running story, adidas has commissioned a global study of 6,000 runners across six different key cities*, which reveals how the art of running is no longer simply about being the fastest. Instead, the Why We Run study identifies how today’s runners are now more focused on the other benefits running can bring, with 87% of those surveyed admitting they now run with a focus on transformation and personal betterment. Other lead findings from the study include: Faster Than the Noise – 60% of respondents agreed that regular running provided mental health benefits, with 47% saying it allowed them to switch off from everyday stresses of modern life, with 68% admitting it’s the only time their phones are left behind. Faster Than Excuses – 18% of runners feel more inspired after a run, with 14% saying it gave them a sense of pride and 32% confessing to having increased confidence immediately after a run. Faster Than Alone – The social aspect of running is also revealed as part of the study, with 34% of those surveyed admitting they have met a future friend while running and 20% even meeting a future partner, showcasing the more unexpected social benefits that the activity can bring. Faster Than Expected – The positive repercussions of running were revealed as part of the study, with respondents linking their post-running ‘high’ to successes including finally achieving something they’d been putting off (34%), finding their creative flair and best ideas (30%) and even working up the courage to ask someone out on a date (17%). Introducing the new faces of Faster Than_ In line with the Why We Run research findings, adidas invited real-life runners to become the stars of the Faster Than_ campaign to share their self-betterment stories and inspire others. Driving heat in the running community and beyond, the campaign heroizes a number of inspirational runners from Martinus Evans, a distance runner who turned his doctor’s negative body comments and laughter into a motivational tool, to Noah Lyles, the current Men’s 200m World Champion, who proves that even for the fastest, ‘Fast’ is a personal feeling. The inspirational stories of overcoming prejudice and adversity from plus-size fitness model Chinae Alexander, and emergency liver transplant survivor turned World Champion runner Ellie Lacey are also among those that feature as part of the campaign, alongside legendary women’s marathon runner Kathrine Switzer. Switzer famously became the first female numbered entrant to the Boston Marathon in 1967 and was controversially pushed off the course by male entrants but battled on and finished the race.  As part of the campaign, adidas has crafted a range of new shoes that enable runners to achieve their personal feeling of ‘Fast’.  From the new lightweight SL20 design, with a cutting-edge Lightstrike midsole for explosive movements and enduring speed, to Ultraboost 20 which provides maximum energy return in every step, and even a new 4D 1.0 shoe with a uniquely designed and ultra-supportive 3D-printed midsole, adidas has the perfect pair of running shoes for every type of runner. Martinus Evans, founder of 300 pounds and running, said: “You might expect me to say that running faster than others makes me feel powerful. Makes me feel strong. Makes me feel free. But to me, it’s not even about that. To me, it’s about giving it a go. Empowering yourself to get out there and run. Not worrying what others have to say, just worrying about the positive effect running can have for you.  ‘Fast’ means something different for everyone. But you’ll never be fast – by your definition or anybody else’s – if you never get out there and run. I want to encourage even more people to experience their own personal feeling of ‘Fast’. You can’t worry about people’s prejudices or what others might say. Forget all of that. You only need to think of the positive effect it can have on you. That’s what ‘Fast’ means to me.” Alberto Uncini Manganelli, General Manager, adidas Running, said: “’Fast’ is, and always has been, a personal feeling: unique to whoever is experiencing it. Performance running will always be in adidas’ DNA with our rich history of 168 marathon wins, world records and personal bests. For many people – including myself – the dream of a world record on the track or the marathon course probably isn’t something achievable. This does not disqualify me – or anyone else - from ever feeling ‘Fast’. We want to celebrate that ‘Fast’ means something different to everyone – whether it’s the feeling of being faster than yesterday, the feeling of running for a cause, or the feeling of being faster than people expect. Through our diverse range of products and creations, we want to inspire as many runners as possible to go out and achieve their own personal feeling of ‘Fast’ – whatever that might be.” Follow the Faster Than_ conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and using #FasterThan and @adidasrunning......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 26th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: San Beda’s challenge fuels Arellano

Arellano University coach Obet Javier let his Lady Chiefs know during practice that San Beda University wanted to bring them down. The mentor lit a fire that served as three-time defending champion Arellano U’s motivation in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on Monday. The Lady Chiefs got word that the Lady Red Spikers’ court leader Cesca Racraquin, looking to fire up her team, and San Beda were all looking forward for the marquee duel – a rematch of last year’s Final Four - between two unbeaten teams. “’Yung sa sinabi sa amin ni Cesca po inaantay nya po kami na makalaban. Parang gustong-gusto nya po kaming talunin,” said reigning Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen. Arellano U accepted San Beda’s challenge and responded with a dominating performance to preserve their perfect record for the solo lead.    Ebuen and Regine Arocha, who saw action despite feeling under the weather, came through with an inspired game to lead the Lady Chiefs to a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 win over the same team that denied them a chance of an outright Finals berth last year. “Nung training po namin kahapon, siyempre po si Ate Regine, nawala sa training namin. Yun mga natira po nag-focus po talaga sa amin si Coach Obet na, ‘mag-focus kayo na kailangang talunin nyo yung gustong talunin kayo,’” said Ebuen. “Parang gigil na gigil po sa amin. Kumbaga kami po di naman kami nanggigil sa kanila, hinayaan lang po namin sila na manggigil sila sa amin.” The Lady Red Spikers gave a decent fight with Racraquin and Nieza Viray at the helm but their efforts weren’t enough to save San Beda from having its three-game winning snapped. Javier’s post-practice pep talk did wonders for the Lady Chiefs, who before taking on San Beda allowed winless San Sebastian College to steal a set from them last Saturday. “So maganda rin naman yun para malaman din ng team ko na, ‘Uy, tsina-challenge tayo ng opponent so i-grab natin. Bigyan natin ng magandang laban ang kalaban natin,’” Javier said. The Lady Chiefs will face streaking University of Perpetual Help on Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s championship series.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JULY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via decision to claim the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship belt. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino won as Philippine Olympic Committee president in a special election after the resignation of Ricky Vargas.   AUGUST John Riel Casimero knocked out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round to retain the Interim WBO Bantamweight World Championship belt. San Miguel Beer captured the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. F2 Logistics won the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.   SEPTEMBER Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clearing 5.81 meters in the Salto Con L'asta meet in Piazza Chiari, Italy. Gilas ended the horror trip to China with a 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Japanese-Filipino sumo wrestler Hisashi Mitakeumi captured his second top-division title after defeating Takakeisho in a playoff to win the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. Pedro Taduran needed only four rounds to dispatch Samuel Salva to become the new IBF Minimumweight World Champion. Kiefer Ravena saw action in the PBA after an 18-month ban.   OCTOBER Caloy Yulo won a historic gold medal in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and also earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nesthy Petecio won the gold medal in women’s featherweight of the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Brandon Vera fell short against Aung La N Sang in their ONE light heavyweight bout in Tokyo while Kevin Belingon was submitted by Bibiano Fernandes in their bantamweight title clash. Adamson University won the PVL Collegiate Conference title. F2 Logistics ruled the PSL Invitational Conference.   NOVEMBER Ateneo de Manila University won its third straight title in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball via tournament sweep while National University completed a six-peat with its 96th straight win in women's basketball. Letran dethroned San Beda University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament. Creamline retained its PVL Season 3 Open Conference crown. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas' scheduled world title defense against Mexico's Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was cancelled because the challenger’s visa issues.  Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Japanese KO artist Naoya Inoue via unanimous decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament. Joshua Pacio retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a masterful submission win over fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. The Philippines began its fourth hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Businessman, sports patron and University of the East head coach Bong Tan passed away after collapsing during a basketball game. He was 53.   DECEMBER Pinoy boxer Johnriel Casimero knocked South African Zolani Tete out in the third round to capture the WBO Bantamweight World Championship. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his belt after needing just six rounds to dispose of Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales. Team Philippines won the overall championship in the SEA Games after copping 149 gold medals. Barangay Ginebra and Meralco forged a Finals encounter in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 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

Adam Silver on China: Not sure where we ll go from here

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Chinese officials wanted Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to be fired for his tweet supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, and the league emphatically dismissed the request. Silver also said that the league is already feeling “substantial” financial losses because of the Chinese reaction to Morey’s deleted tweet. “Obviously, we made clear that we were being asked to fire him by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business,” Silver said Thursday (Friday, PHL time) during an appearance at the Time 100 Health Summit in New York. “We said, ‘There’s no chance that’s happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.’” On Friday morning, China refuted Silver's claim that it demanded Morey be fired, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying the “Chinese government never posed this requirement.” Silver said Thursday (Friday, PHL time) he isn’t sure what will happen to the NBA’s relationship with China, which has been growing steadily over the last three decades. “I felt we had made enormous progress in terms of building cultural exchanges with the Chinese people,” Silver said. “Again, I have regret that much of that was lost. And I’m not even sure where we’ll go from here.” The league and LeBron James, one of its biggest stars, have been heavily criticized by some U.S. lawmakers for the perception that they caved to the Chinese regime. Morey has not been rebuked publicly by the league, and Silver has said that the league will support his freedom of expression. “We wanted to make an absolute clear statement that the values of the NBA, these American values -- we are an American business -- travel with us wherever we go, and one of those values is free expression,” Silver said. “We wanted to make sure everyone understood we were supporting free expression.” The Rockets were of massive interest in China, largely because of Yao Ming -- the Chinese star who spent his entire NBA career in Houston. Yao is now the president of the Chinese Basketball Association, which has suspended its ties to the Rockets because of the tweet. Morey has not commented publicly since a pair of tweets on Oct. 6 attempting to clarify his position. “I understand there is a point of view from some that we shouldn’t be in business at all in China, and I’d say from an intellectual standpoint, that’s fair -- not getting into whether the tweet or the response to it,” Silver said. “But if people believe that we shouldn’t be engaged in commerce in China or frankly in other places in the world ... I, at some point, look to the American government. “We’re in the middle of negotiating a trade agreement,” Silver continued. “Many multinational corporations do trade extensively with China. And if that’s ultimately how our government feels we should be dealing with China, again, we are a U.S. company.” Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not air the two NBA preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets last week. Tencent, which has a $1.5 billion deal to stream NBA games in China over the next five years, has also stopped showing Rockets games but has not totally dropped all NBA content. “The losses have already been substantial,” Silver said. “Our games are not back on the air in China, as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next.” Silver was at the summit to discuss the league’s deeper commitment to ensuring players and employees are taking care of their mental health, something that has been a growing topic in the NBA in recent years -- particularly with the acknowledgment of top players like San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan and Cleveland’s Kevin Love that they struggle with certain issues. Silver also addressed how social media can make matters more difficult for those who engage. “Social media, it seems pretty clear, is raising the anxiety level and stress level among our young people,” Silver said. “There’s a lot of hate speech out there. There’s stress to be included, there’s emotional issues about being left out of groups. And then compound that with NBA players when there’s in some cases millions and millions of seemingly anonymous people taking shots at them. And while the advice often is ‘just don’t read it,’ it’s awfully hard.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2019

Petecio sets eyes on SEA Games gold, Olympic qualifier

After bagging the world championship, Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio sets her sights on nailing the gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games and qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Petecio arrived in Manila Tuesday afternoon after her conquest in the 2019 AIBA Women’s Boxing World Championship featherweight division in Russia last Sunday. Presented to the media in a press conference at the Century Park Hotel in Manila together with champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, who also arrived Tuesday evening after winning the gold in the 41st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at Hans Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena, the 27-year-old pug bared her next plans which includes pocketing the mint in the biennial mint. “Sa SEA Games po handa na po akong sungkitin ang ginto,” said Petecio, who is set to receive a P1 million incentive from the Philippine Sports Commission. Petecio together with the national boxing team will fly to Queensland, Australia to train as final build up for the Manila SEA Games that will open on Nov. 30.    The Davaoena bested hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsove at the latter's turf in Ulan-Ude, Russia to annex the gold medal.              Unfortunately, her gold medal haul didn’t translate to an Olympic ticket.  “‘Yun nga po nakakaiingit po kasi dapat nga itong world namin qualifying na din po ito pero biglang nagbago po yung sa AIBA rules po,” said Petecio while referring to Yulo and Obiena – the first two Filipinos to qualify in the Games. Petecio will try her luck in the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament in China next year. “Sayang, sayang talaga kasi qualified na po dapat tayo. [Pero] hahabol po ako,” she said. With Olympic slots to be given to top three boxers in each division, Petecio has high hopes of realizing her Olympic dream.   “‘Pag naka-bronze ka na po dun qualify na po. So malaking tsansa po,” said Petecio.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2019

Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin

The Philippine men’s national team captured a much bigger prize than the breakthrough bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships. The squad earned the respect and support of the Filipino fans and a chance to gauge its level of play against the region’s powerhouse. Overshadowed by the more popular women’s volleyball team, the Nationals put themselves on the spotlight this time after their podium finish in the tough tournament that served as the team’s first international foray heading into the Southeast Asian Games in November. “Sobrang natuwa nga kami sa nangyari na halos ang mga tao sumusuporta na sa amin. Yun naman ang gusto naming makuha,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin on Wednesday during the team’s appreciation dinner set by its corporate sponsor Rebisco at Joy Nostalg Hotel in Pasig City. The men’s squad was joined by the members of the women’s U-23 team which also participated in the Thai tourney with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member and national volleyball team program head Peter Cayco and Rebisco top brass Jonathan Ng. The Nationals bannered by the tournament’s 2nd Best Wing Spiker Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, skipper John Vic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga and veteran setter Jessie Lopez proved their doubters wrong by snatching a podium finish after a hard-fought 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third in Sisaket, Thailand. The Filipinos suffered an early setback after bowing down to Thai Air Force in four sets. Bagunas paced the Nationals a four-set bounce back victory over Fine Chef Phitsanulok to advance in the semifinals. The Nationals came up short the Final Four at the hands of Thai Army but redeemed themselves for the consolation with Espejo dropping 35 and Bagunas posting 24 markers in the match that saw the Filipinos display their blocking prowess with 22 kill blocks. “Kaya ‘yang team na ‘yan, napag-usapan namin na, ‘Kailangan nating makuha yung tiwala ng mga tao sa team. Kasi kung gusto nating magsimula [lumaki] ang men’s [volleyball] kailangan maging maganda ang performance natin at umanga’t ng umangat ang mga ginagawa natin and yung sakripisyo natin magbubunga naman yan kapag nakita nila na maayos ang team,’” said Alinsunurin, who was also a former national team player. “Sana lang magtuluy-tuloy ang programa.” The four-time UAAP champion mentor also stressed the importance of seeing where the squad is right now as they prep up for the biennial meet that the country will host from Nov. 30 to December 10. “Siyempre sobrang importante ‘yung naging sitwasyon namin sa Thailand. Hindi tayo nanghuhula. Nakita namin ang kalaban namin and kung anong ginagawa nilang play or ginagawa pagdating sa laro,” he said. “Sinasabi namin na kahit paano mayroon tayong pagkukunan hindi yung pagdating ng SEA Games mahirapan tayong mag-adjust kung ano ang laro nila. Nagpapasalamat kami sa nangyari sa Thailand na nanalo kami.” The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10. “Sa Thailand mas makikita namin ang mga players, marami kaming makakalaban. Sa China kasi di namin alam kung ano ang programa, kung pupunta kami doon at magti-training lang ba kami doon. Di ata maayos ang naging usapan so magta-Thailand na lang kami,” said Alinsunurin. The Nationals will also fly to Japan to train from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019

Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin

The Philippine men’s national team captured a much bigger prize than the breakthrough bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships. The squad earned the respect and support of the Filipino fans and a chance to gauge its level of play against the region’s powerhouse. Overshadowed by the more popular women’s volleyball team, the Nationals put themselves on the spotlight this time after their podium finish in the tough tournament that served as the team’s first international foray heading into the Southeast Asian Games in November. “Sobrang natuwa nga kami sa nangyari na halos ang mga tao sumusuporta na sa amin. Yun naman ang gusto naming makuha,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin on Wednesday during the team’s appreciation dinner set by its corporate sponsor Rebisco at Joy Nostalg Hotel in Pasig City. The men’s squad was joined by the members of the women’s U-23 team which also participated in the Thai tourney with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member and national volleyball team program head Peter Cayco and Rebisco top brass Jonathan Ng. The Nationals bannered by the tournament’s 2nd Best Wing Spiker Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, skipper John Vic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga and veteran setter Jessie Lopez proved their doubters wrong by snatching a podium finish after a hard-fought 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third in Sisaket, Thailand. The Filipinos suffered an early setback after bowing down to Thai Air Force in four sets. Bagunas paced the Nationals a four-set bounce back victory over Fine Chef Phitsanulok to advance in the semifinals. The Nationals came up short the Final Four at the hands of Thai Army but redeemed themselves for the consolation with Espejo dropping 35 and Bagunas posting 24 markers in the match that saw the Filipinos display their blocking prowess with 22 kill blocks. “Kaya ‘yang team na ‘yan, napag-usapan namin na, ‘Kailangan nating makuha yung tiwala ng mga tao sa team. Kasi kung gusto nating magsimula [lumaki] ang men’s [volleyball] kailangan maging maganda ang performance natin at umanga’t ng umangat ang mga ginagawa natin and yung sakripisyo natin magbubunga naman yan kapag nakita nila na maayos ang team,’” said Alinsunurin, who was also a former national team player. “Sana lang magtuluy-tuloy ang programa.” The four-time UAAP champion mentor also stressed the importance of seeing where the squad is right now as they prep up for the biennial meet that the country will host from Nov. 30 to December 10. “Siyempre sobrang importante ‘yung naging sitwasyon namin sa Thailand. Hindi tayo nanghuhula. Nakita namin ang kalaban namin and kung anong ginagawa nilang play or ginagawa pagdating sa laro,” he said. “Sinasabi namin na kahit paano mayroon tayong pagkukunan hindi yung pagdating ng SEA Games mahirapan tayong mag-adjust kung ano ang laro nila. Nagpapasalamat kami sa nangyari sa Thailand na nanalo kami.” The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10. “Sa Thailand mas makikita namin ang mga players, marami kaming makakalaban. Sa China kasi di namin alam kung ano ang programa, kung pupunta kami doon at magti-training lang ba kami doon. Di ata maayos ang naging usapan so magta-Thailand na lang kami,” said Alinsunurin. The Nationals will also fly to Japan to train from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019

Nakuha namin suporta ng tao -- Alinsurin

The Philippine men’s national team captured a much bigger prize than the breakthrough bronze medal in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships. The squad earned the respect and support of the Filipino fans and a chance to gauge its level of play against the region’s powerhouse. Overshadowed by the more popular women’s volleyball team, the Nationals put themselves on the spotlight this time after their podium finish in the tough tournament that served as the team’s first international foray heading into the Southeast Asian Games in November. “Sobrang natuwa nga kami sa nangyari na halos ang mga tao sumusuporta na sa amin. Yun naman ang gusto naming makuha,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin on Wednesday during the team’s appreciation dinner set by its corporate sponsor Rebisco at Joy Nostalg Hotel in Pasig City. The men’s squad was joined by the members of the women’s U-23 team which also participated in the Thai tourney with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. board member and national volleyball team program head Peter Cayco and Rebisco top brass Jonathan Ng. The Nationals bannered by the tournament’s 2nd Best Wing Spiker Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, skipper John Vic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga and veteran setter Jessie Lopez proved their doubters wrong by snatching a podium finish after a hard-fought 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, win over Saraburi-Thai Denmark in the battle for third in Sisaket, Thailand. The Filipinos suffered an early setback after bowing down to Thai Air Force in four sets. Bagunas paced the Nationals a four-set bounce back victory over Fine Chef Phitsanulok to advance in the semifinals. The Nationals came up short the Final Four at the hands of Thai Army but redeemed themselves for the consolation with Espejo dropping 35 and Bagunas posting 24 markers in the match that saw the Filipinos display their blocking prowess with 22 kill blocks. “Kaya ‘yang team na ‘yan, napag-usapan namin na, ‘Kailangan nating makuha yung tiwala ng mga tao sa team. Kasi kung gusto nating magsimula [lumaki] ang men’s [volleyball] kailangan maging maganda ang performance natin at umanga’t ng umangat ang mga ginagawa natin and yung sakripisyo natin magbubunga naman yan kapag nakita nila na maayos ang team,’” said Alinsunurin, who was also a former national team player. “Sana lang magtuluy-tuloy ang programa.” The four-time UAAP champion mentor also stressed the importance of seeing where the squad is right now as they prep up for the biennial meet that the country will host from Nov. 30 to December 10. “Siyempre sobrang importante ‘yung naging sitwasyon namin sa Thailand. Hindi tayo nanghuhula. Nakita namin ang kalaban namin and kung anong ginagawa nilang play or ginagawa pagdating sa laro,” he said. “Sinasabi namin na kahit paano mayroon tayong pagkukunan hindi yung pagdating ng SEA Games mahirapan tayong mag-adjust kung ano ang laro nila. Nagpapasalamat kami sa nangyari sa Thailand na nanalo kami.” The Nationals will fly to Thailand for a training camp from July 28 to August 10. “Sa Thailand mas makikita namin ang mga players, marami kaming makakalaban. Sa China kasi di namin alam kung ano ang programa, kung pupunta kami doon at magti-training lang ba kami doon. Di ata maayos ang naging usapan so magta-Thailand na lang kami,” said Alinsunurin. The Nationals will also fly to Japan to train from November 5 to 20.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2019

It’s part of the process – Valdez on PHI U-23 team

Despite the stinging losses and less than desirable score lines, the PHI Under-23 women’s volleyball team will always have the support and admiration of established local stars in Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Michele Gumabao.   The young squad, which played without most of its vaunted hitters and recognizable names because of various reasons ranging from club commitments to injuries, finished the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships empty-handed save for valuable experience and lessons playing in the international scene. Never mind the bashers, the searing and scarring criticisms and all, they’re volleyball ‘ates’ got their backs. “Ako, for the girls lang, they don’t have to be down,” said Valdez, who was a part of the PHI U-23 team that finished seventh in the 12-team inaugural Asian U-23 Championship that the country hosted in 2015. “I’m not saying na dapat maging masaya but you keep on fighting, you keep on going.” Valdez, who has been a part of the national team since her girls squad stint 11 years ago, admired the determination of the PHI U-23 to represent the country even on short notice.   “Kahit anong mangyari we’re just really proud of the girls. Pinatawag sila to represent our country, pumunta sila ipinaglaban nila yung bansa natin,” said Valdez, who is set to make her third Southeast Asian Games tour of duty in November. “Who knows sila ang future generation natin na magre-represent talaga ng bansa natin at makapagdala ng medal.” Playing with an inexperienced core with a few high school standouts, the Filipinas were easy pickings for their seasoned tormentors. “It’s part of the process. Kung mababa ang score and matalo, it’s part of the learning experience you get internationally,” added Valdez. The PHI U-23 team suffered a humiliating 9-25, 12-25, 6-25, whipping at the hands of one of Japan’s best club teams, the Okayama Seagulls – the same team that will host the country’s senior national team during their international training camp. Looking to save face after their embarrassment, the Filipinas did regain some sense of pride with a better showing albeit it still ended with a 20-25, 12-25, 15-25, loss to 3BB Nakornnont, which fielded a couple of players from the Thai national team.    “Pero 'yung girls we’ve seen them, I’ve seen them. I watched their games also. I see how hard they fight. I’ve seen how they trained also,” said Morado, who was also a former PHI U-23 standout and currently part of the senior squad. “’Yun nga lang lahat ng players talaga na pinapadala sa ganoon lumalaban talaga,” she added. “They’re not there just for nothing, they’re there for the country, so kudos sa kanila.” Gumabao, who represented the country in the 2015 Asian Seniors Championship in China, commended the patriotism of the girls despite overwhelming odds. “Nothing to be ashamed of,” said Gumabao, who also carried the nation’s pride outside of volleyball in the 2018 Miss Globe competition. Gumabao like Morado and Valdez called on the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. to come up with a comprehensive and concrete program for the all of the sport’s national teams for future international competitions.   “You reap what you sow. We in Creamline, we reap what we sow. We sow hard work, we reap wins,” Gumabao said. “Same internationally, if you sow years of training and experience, makikita natin ang score.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

Whirl’d Cup 2019 draws 27 teams, 550 players

MANILA, Philippines —While summer calls to mind a long, relaxing vacation, most Filipinos see the season as a great time to make plans with their friends or even a good time to get active and enjoy the outdoors. For Jamba Juice, summer is not just a good time to start enjoying a healthful and active routine, but to also blend this passion with finding and bonding with a community. To encourage more Filipinos to embrace and enjoy a healthful lifestyle, Jamba Juice hosted the second edition of Whirl’d Cup, a two-day mixed (read: co-ed) Ultimate Frisbee tournament organized with JMJ Sports Training Services, in partnership with the Philippine Flying Disc Association. Whirl’d Cup 2019 happened last May 11-12, 2019, at the Ayala Alabang Country Club. Over 550 players and 27 teams participated in the tournament, which was open to first-timers, regulars, and veteran players, with no age limits or other requirements. Aside from the matches, Ultimate regulars and newer players alike also tested their athletic prowess and worked up a sweat at the Whirl’d Cup Skills Challenge Games. “At Jamba, we believe in blending goodness into every moment. In our stores, we use real whole fruits blended with our juices to create our smoothies, juices, and bowls—whether the combination is unusual or expected—the experience and taste is still great,” shared Jamba Juice Marketing Manager Steph Elumba. “When we looked at Ultimate Frisbee, we saw how the community blended each individual player into one big family. From ages 15 to 50, men and women blended together for a weekend of Ultimate fun and Jamba Juice smoothies.” The Whirl’d Cup also served as a great introduction to Ultimate, a fast-paced, no-contact sport requiring only a disc and a well-lit space to play. The sport has rapidly grown since it was first introduced in the Philippines in the early 2000s, making the local Ultimate community one of the fastest-growing in Asia.   “For us, Ultimate is the sport that best encapsulates our values and our vision for how anyone can live a Better Blended life,” added Elumba. “Ultimate is a great way to blend people of different ages, sexes, professions, and backgrounds in one space, as the sport’s inclusive nature makes it easier for people who share a passion for sports, fitness, and good food and drink to come together.” Beyond introducing more Filipinos to Ultimate, Jamba Juice also provided players with an opportunity to support the sport’s growing community. A portion of the sales from the Jamba Juice food truck, the Fender Blender, will support Pilipinas Ultimate, the national Ultimate team, as they take part in tournaments in Japan and China. “Just as it’s important to nourish our bodies with delicious and nutritious food, we believe that it is important for more Filipinos to enjoy a more inclusive experience of sports. A better you starts with better food (in this case, our smoothies), and when you can tap into the better you, you can help create a better world,” said Elumba. “We hope that more people will be inspired by the Whirl’d Cup, start creating their vision of a healthful life, and get blended into Ultimate’s exciting and fun scene.” To catch up on the highlights of the Whirl’d Cup, check out facebook.com/jambajuiceph/.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Ayaw ko pang i-let go ang UST -- Sisi Rondina

If given a chance, outgoing University of Sto. Tomas ace Sisi Rondina would still want to play for the Tigresses.  The Season Most Valuable Player bid goodbye to the black and gold on Saturday – a fruitful five-year stint that saw Rondina give her all from the struggling days of UST up to the final moment of the Tigresses in the biggest stage of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.         “Kanina kasi that time na the ball was checked out alam ko na pagka-hit pa lang ng bola, pagkapuntos pa lang ng kalaban alam ko na matatapos na ako as a Golden Tigress and ‘yun ‘yung sobrang nasaktan ako,” said Rondina after UST absorbed a stinging 17-25, 22-25, 22-25, Game 3 loss to Ateneo de Manila University at the MOA Arena. The Cebuana hotshot hammered 18 points with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions in her last three sets as a Tigress. As the final attack of Jules Samonte went off the block for the Lady Eagles’ championship point, Rondina knew there’s no turning back. No more chance for redemption – at least for her.       “Ayaw ko eh, ayaw ko talaga [umalis], gusto ko na maging Golden Tigresses as champion,” said Rondina. “Sabi ko nga kanina, kinokontra namin ang destiny na para sa Ateneo talaga.” “Ako sa sarili ko, destiny talaga ng Ateneo kinontra lang namin. It was a good run for us kasi who knows, na maniniwala na mga bata ang kasama ko and partida mga bata pero pag naglaro kakaiba,” added Rondina, who led a rookie-laden Tigresses squad to its first Finals appearance in eight years.   Despite falling short of fulfilling her promise to be remembered as the woman who will bring back the title to Espana, Rondina remained proud of where her sacrifices and efforts led UST to.   “Gusto ko [maalala nila ako] isa sa mga nagpabalik sa Finals kahit hindi korona. Kapag sinabing Sisi Rondina, gusto ko lang na, ‘UST oriented ‘yan, mahal niya ang UST, hindi pinapahiya ‘yung UST.’ Kung gusto lang naman nila akong ma-remember,” she said. “Isa rin is mahal na mahal ang UST, mga ganoon. Ayaw ko pang i-let go ang UST.” Still, the power-hitting player was grateful to her teammates’ effort to give her a chance to play in the Finals “Napakasaya ko kasi sila ang nagpatikim sa akin kung ano ang Finals, Finals be like. Kahit anong sasabihin ko hinding-hindi na talaga ako makakabalik, kahit gustuhin ko mang bumalik. Sabi nga sa kanta, may dulo pala ang langit,” Rondina said. “For me I’m blessed to have them [teammates], kahit na second place kami kasi sobrang unforgettable moment, day and time, sobrang gusto ko kasi na sana pag graduate ko may maiiwan ako sa UST na hindi makakalimutan ng iba,” she said. Rondina will leave UST without a title. But she surely inspired a new breed of Tigresses and a community.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Yes Ate Ging, tayo naman -- Rondina

Prized hitter Sisi Rondina woke up on Saturday with a message coming from one of her volleyball inspirations. University of Sto. Tomas legend Ging Balse-Pabayo gave the graduating skipper a few words of advice as Rondina prepared for Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals.    “Umaga pa lang nag-message na sa akin si Ate Ging sabi nya, ‘Lagyan lang talaga ng puso, effort lahat ng gagawin nyo,’” Rondina said. A member of UST’s Season 69 champion team, Rondina just felt overwhelmed that a Tigresses legend took time to give wish her well.    “Sabi n’ya, proud na proud siya sa amin. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Yes Ate Ging. Sana makita namin kayo mamaya. Tayo naman,’” continued the Season Most Valuable Player. “Nag-reply siya na, ‘Oo, tayo naman.’” Inspired by words of encouragement from a former Queen Tigress, Rondina played like a woman possessed, wowing the crowd with her explosiveness as UST swept Ateneo de Manila University, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, to draw first blood in their Finals showdown.      The Cebuana-native finished with 23 points with 20 coming off attacks added 12 digs for the Tigresses, who moved a win away from reclaiming the crown it last held in nine years ago in Season 72. Balse-Pabayo witnessed UST’s impressive stand as she was joined by another UST legend in Venus Bernal, the last Tigresses Most Valuable Player award winner (Season 69) before Rondina.   “Ang sarap sa feeling na isa sa mga beterana nagbigay ng tiwala sa amin na kaya namin and naniniwala na makukuha at makukuha namin,” she said. From one queen to another, Rondina stayed true to her word. Now, only one win separates her from fulfilling her promise.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

PSA to honor Diaz as 2016 Athlete of the Year

Behind her powerful arms and legs, a young petite lady gave Philippine sports a lift it badly needed in the year just passed. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz gave this country of 100 million people something to cheer about at the break of dawn one rainy day in August after copping an Olympic medal that was long overdue during the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games. A combination of hard work, effort, heart, and sheer luck paved the way for the 25-year-old pride of Zamboanga City to run away with the silver in the women’s 53-kg weight division behind eventual winner Hsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei. Diaz totaled a combined 200 kgs. in both the snatch and clean and jerk to the 212 of the Taiwanese bet. An Airwoman First Class at the Philippine Air Force, Diaz was only hoping for a bronze medal finish, but ended up a surprise runner up when fancied Li Yaiun of China – who earlier set an Olympic record in the snatch - failed to complete her final two attempts in the clean and jerk. “Sabi ko thank you Lord. Bronze lang ang hinihingi ko, pero silver ang ibinigay mo,” said Diaz moments after her triumph as the first-ever Filipina to win an Olympic medal. The Cinderella finish by Diaz was the first for the country in the last 20 years since boxer Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco punched his way to a similar silver medal feat during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Hidilyn also became the first Filipino weightlifter to win an Olympic medal for the country and the only one to bag a silver outside of boxers Velasco and the late Anthony Villanueva (1964 Tokyo Games). In the light of her outstanding feats, the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) was one and unanimous in naming Diaz its 2016 Athlete of the Year during its traditional Awards Night presented by MILO and San Miguel on Feb. 13 at the LE PAVILION in Pasay City. Diaz is the first lady to be feted by the country’s oldest media organization with its highest individual honor after boxer Josie Gabuco and the Team Manila women’s softball team in 2012. “This one is a no-brainer. Hidilyn Diaz is truly the hands-down choice as the 2016 PSA Athlete of the Year,” said PSA president Riera Mallari, sports editor of The Standard. Last year, pro boxers Nonito Donaire Jr. and Donnie Nietes, along with young golfer Miguel Tabuena were the recipient of the coveted award annually handed out by the PSA, comprised by editors and sportswriters from the different broadsheets, tabloids, and online portals in the country. Diaz, who came home empty handed during both the 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London) Olympics, respectively, leads a long list of personalities and entities to be recognized during the formal rite co-presented by CIGNAL/HYPHER TV. In the coming days and weeks, recipients of the President’s Award, Lifetime Achievement honor, Executive of the Year, National Sports Association of the Year, Mr. Basketball, Mr. Golf, Mr. Football, and Ms. Volleyball will also be named as part of the two-hour program backed by Smart, Foton, Mighty Sports, Philippine Basketball Association, ACCEL, Gold Toe, SM Prime Holdings Inc., Globalport, Rain or Shine, ICTSI, and MVPSF. There will also be major awardees in different sports and citations to various personalities and entities in the annual rite backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Federal Land. Not to be missed out is the PSA’s recognition to young promising achievers such as the Tony Siddayao Awards and the Milo Male and Female Junior Athletes of the Year, as well as posthumous awards to those dearly departed friends of the local sportswriting community.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2017

Almadro, Vicente, Acaylar lead nat'l team coach list

Ateneo de Manila University coach Oliver Almadro, University of the East’s Francis Vicente and Perpetual Help tactician Sammy Acaylar lead the shortlist of mentors Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. is looking into to call the shots for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. The association has in its list 23 names limited to the members of the LVPI coaches commission. LVPI acting president Peter Cayco said that they will narrow down the list to 8 to 6 coaches for interview and in a week’s time he will recommend one to the board who will take the position. Among the names in the list, Almadro and Acaylar stood out as possible national team coaches as they led their respective collegiate teams to the throne. Almadro steered the Blue Eagles to back-to-back UAAP men’s volleyball titles and was the head coach of the men’s U-23 team and Singapore Southeast Asian Games two years ago while Acaylar led Altas back on top of the NCAA in Season 91 and was part of the coaching staff of the national squad that won gold in the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore. Acaylar also coached the national team in the 2015 AVC Asian Senior Women's Championship in China.  Vicente, meanwhile, handled the national youth team in a couple of international stints last year. Macky Carino of defending NCAA women’s volleyball champion College of St. Benilde and Obet Javier of NCAA Season 90 titlist Arellano University are some of the other prominent names on the list. Other big names like multi-titled mentor Ramil de Jesus of reigning UAAP champion De La Salle and University of Sto. Tomas’ Kungfu Reyes all begged off for various reasons but are willing to offer their help and support.                 San Sebastian College and National University mentor Roger Gorayeb, who called the shots for the national team in the 2015 SEA Games, is not included in the list “Ang kailangan natin ay ‘yung may oras,” said Cayco. “Meron d’yan magagaling pero wala naman silang oras.” LVPI is also looking to tap Serbian mentor Moro Branislav, who handled the PSL-F2 Logistics Manila in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship and the Philippine Superliga back-to-back Grand Prix champion Foton, as team consultant.  The chosen head coach will be tasked to form a 16-woman pool. As part of the preparation the national team will play in the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship from August 9 to 17 before heading to Malaysia for the SEA Games from August 19 to 31.   “We have all time to prepare and that’s the best part,” Cayco said. Also included in the list are Lerma Giron, Mac Gepuela, Marcelo Joaquin, Jason Gabales, Michael Inoferio, Bryan Esquibel, Raymund Castillo, Jeremiah Barrica, Raplh Dablo, Leovimo Rivera, Michael Santos, Roberto Javier, Carl Bryan Vitus, Richard Estacio, Ruel Pascual, Leonardo Toyco, Benjamin Mape, Michael Carino, Dexter Clamor and Alvin Dumalaog. The participation of the men’s team in the SEA Games is yet to be discussed.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

‘Hello, China; goodbye, US’

BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping Thursday, state media said, with China committing more than $9 billion in concessionary loans to support Philippine development programs, including drug.  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 20th, 2016

AFP chief crushes & lsquo;war& rsquo; rumor

Armed Forces chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana on Sunday dismissed as false social media reports that war was about to break out between the Philippines and China over the presence of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated News9 hr. 32 min. ago

& lsquo;China marks all over SCS& rsquo;

China has registered trademarks over hundreds of land features scattered throughout the South China Sea, a move opposed by other claimants to the disputed waters, BenarNews, a Washington-based online news service, reported Thursday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 16th, 2021