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Easy meals for celebrating at home

I have learned many lessons during the last six months; the most meaningful is the appreciation and celebration of life! So many people I have known all my life, or even briefly,.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarSep 16th, 2020

Bulanadi s birthday blowout? Sharing blessings to frontliners, homeless

Allyn Bulanadi is far from home as he is about to celebrate his 23rd year of existence. Still, that hasn't stopped him from celebrating his birthday - and celebrating it in the most meaningful manner. Last Sunday, the member of the Gilas Pilipinas pool handed out packed meals that included beef tapa, pork tonkatsu, rice, and softdrinks to frontliners and homeless persons in Las Pinas. "Inabot po kasi ako ng lockdown dito so lahat po ng checkpoints ng frontliners, pinuntahan po namin," he said while also adding that he has yet to go back to his hometown in Davao or to his house in Manila.  "Mas lalo rin yung mga homeless (persons), inabutan din po namin ng konting tulong. Fortunately for Bulanadi, his good friend living in Las Pinas has taken him in and also went with him as they shared his blessings courtesy of savings from playing for Basilan in the MPBL and San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the NCAA. "Sobrang saya at sarap sa pakiramdam na nakatulong po kami kahit konti na walang hinihintay na kapalit," he said. And for the 6-foot-3 swingman, this was his best blowout yet for his birthday on April 28 - especially considering his own humble beginnings. "Naramdaman ko rin po kasi kung ano talaga yung saktuhan lang yung pera mong pangkain sa isang araw. Minsan, kulang pa nga," he shared. He then continued, "Alam ko rin po yung pakiramdam na nagtitiis kaya ngayong medyo nabiyayaan na po tayo, binabalik ko lang po kung ano yung binigay sa akin." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2020

PBA: Parks Jr. sends complete meals to COVID-19 frontliners

It's a KaTropa thing. TNT's Ray Parks Jr. and his girlfriend are also in on the fight against COVID-19, doing their part by having the backs of the brave medical frontliners. Parks Jr. and girlfriend Maika Rivera sent over food packs to some frontliners, making sure our moder-day heroes are well-fed and energized as they take on the coronavirus.         View this post on Instagram                   @riveramaika and I just wanted to show appreciation to our front-liners. We know its not easy and it takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication. We continue to pray for God to bless y’all, grant you protection and strength as y’all go out and face this Covid-19 head on???????? Stay safe! SALUDO KAMI SAINYO ???????? we shall continue to do our part to stay home and wear our masks! Thank you to Doc Robert Ponoc and @kapitangimmo for making this happen A post shared by Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (@ray1parks) on Apr 16, 2020 at 2:42am PDT Parks Jr. is just one of the many PBA personalities doing their part in the fight against COVID-19. TNT teammate Troy Rosario delivered relief goods last Easter Sunday. [Related: PBA: Rosario steps up relief effort as plight of homeless hits close to home] Earlier, an initiative spearheaded by Alaska head coach Jeffrey Cariaso was done in order to help PBA game-day personnel who are affected by COVID-19 and are out of income due to the league season being suspended at the moment. [Related: PBA: Cariaso pledges P100k for game-day personnel affected by COVID-19]   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2020

PBA: Arana celebrates birthday by cooking for COVID-19 frontliners

Veteran PBA forward Ryan Arana turned 37 yesterday and to celebrate, he cooked up a ton of food. However, said food went the way of the brave frontliners battling COVID-19. The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon due to the COVID-19 outbreak is on its second week, and the battle is taking its toll on the frontliners. Doing his own way to help, Arana chose to celebrate his birthday with our true modern-day heroes, preparing meals to those that keep us safe. "Thank you to our frontliners, security guards, policemen etc. It was a simple act yet seeing their big smiles made it fulfilling," Arana wrote on Instagram.         View this post on Instagram                   This is how I celebrated my birthday. Instead of having a party, I planned on making it more meaningful by celebrating with our heroes in the streets. Thank you to our frontliners, security guards, policemen etc. It was a simple act yet seeing their big smiles made it fulfilling. I hope we can spread kindness and positivity especially at a time like this. Special thanks to all the people here at home who helped me with all the preparations. Cheers everyone ???? A post shared by Ryan Araña (@ryanarana) on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:39am PDT "I hope we can spread kindness and positivity especially at a time like this," he added. Happy birthday Ryan, and may your act of kindness lift the spirits of our brave frontliners. Stay safe and healthy, Kapamilya!   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2020

10 Filipino Dishes For Christmas- Easy Meals That ll Remind Pinoys Of Home

10 Filipino Dishes For Christmas: Easy Meals That'll Remind Pinoys Of Home Latin Times.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2019

Mbappe scores 2 as PSG moves 7 points clear; Depay injured

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain moved seven points clear at the top of the French league with a resounding 4-0 win at 10-man Saint-Etienne on Sunday. Midfielder Leandro Paredes scored his first PSG goal before Mbappe's brace took his club career tally to a whopping 102 a few days before his 21st birthday. An eventful game saw Neymar hold his head in his hands after a rare penalty miss, and the ultra-efficient Mauro Icardi scored yet another clinical goal. In Lyon, star striker Memphis Depay and midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide were coming to terms with serious knee injuries that could keep them out for the rest of the season. Both players ruptured knee ligament during a 1-0 home defeat to fourth-place Rennes. Saint-Etienne played 65 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou’s sending off. It proved an easy win for Thomas Tuchel's side, which has played one game less than second-place Marseille approaching the midseason winter break next weekend. As Mbappe ran through and smacked the ball into the bottom left corner in the 90th, Saint-Etienne fans were in raucous party mode. Flares were lit and fireworks let off. The referee blew full time straight from the restart, choosing not to play any additional time. He had interrupted the game for about a minute early in the second half to let smoke from flares dissipate. A fan group at Saint-Etienne was celebrating its 20th anniversary and notified the club, referee and stewards know beforehand with the game passing off peacefully. Paredes netted with a volley from the edge of the penalty area in the 10th, with Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier beaten by a deflection off a defender. Saint-Etienne’s chances were severely reduced when Aholou was sent off in the 25th for a crude two-footed lunge on Paredes. After Mbappe had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, Ruffier twice made fine saves from Neymar. Mbappe read Neymar’s first-time pass well and fired the ball under Ruffier's body in the 44th. Ruffier denied Neymar twice with his legs and PSG winger Angel Di Maria hit the post — within 10 minutes of the second half. After Neymar was tripped by Mathieu Debuchy, he sent Ruffier the wrong way from the spot but the ball hit the right post in the 62nd. The ice-cool Icardi confirmed his status as PSG’s new arch-poacher in the place of Edinson Cavani, adroitly clipping home a half-volley at the back post from left back Layvin Kurzawa’s cross in the 74th. RISING STAR, INJURED STAR Eduardo Camavinga scored an accomplished late goal as Rennes won 1-0 at Lyon to move up to fourth place. The injuries to Depay and Reine-Adelaide overshadowed 17-year-old Camavinga's latest stellar performance. He shot to prominence with an outstanding performance against PSG in August. Then age 16, he set up a goal and demonstrated a staggering range of passing as he pulled the midfield strings in a 2-1 win. Now he is celebrating his first league goal, and the way he took it will only have served to remind Europe's leading clubs what a precocious talent Rennes has in its team. The goal came in the 89th minute after he collected a pass wide on the left. Camavinga advanced confidently at pace toward goal, with his head up. Drawing center half Joachim Andersen out of the penalty area, Camavinga cut past him with a sudden change of direction, then held off two other defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and in off the left post. Rennes is one point behind third-place Lille, having played one game less. Lyon slipped down to eighth spot after a second straight home defeat. Also Sunday, seventh-place Bordeaux lost 1-0 against Strasbourg, with striker Ludovic Ajorque netting for the visitors in the 11th minute. It was Ajorque's sixth goal of the season and moved the Alsace-based side up to 13th place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

Mourinho loses in Old Trafford return; Liverpool wins derby

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Jose Mourinho was standing on the edge of his technical area near the halfway line when Manchester United midfielder Daniel James came sliding off the field and clattered head-first into the right knee of the Portuguese coach. Mourinho just about stayed on his feet but grimaced as he clutched his knee before hobbling away. It was a rough return to Old Trafford for the former United manager on Wednesday. Two weeks into his time at Tottenham and Mourinho has finally lost a game — and it just had to be against the club that fired him a year ago. United won 2-1 to end Tottenham’s run of three wins since the arrival of Mourinho, with Marcus Rashford scoring both of the home team’s goals and celebrating them maybe with a little dig at his old manager. “Doubters just spur me on,” Rashford wrote on Twitter after the match, potentially a reference to Mourinho who, in one standout incident during his time at United, turned his back to Rashford and folded his arms in disgust after the striker missed an easy chance in a Champions League match against Young Boys in November last year. Less than a month later, Mourinho was fired. Tottenham, which slipped to eighth place and behind United in the standings, has now conceded two goals in each of the four games Mourinho has been in charge — a statistic that must concern a coach who usually sets his teams up to defend resolutely. If Tottenham can't stop allowing goals, Liverpool can't stop scoring them. The unbeaten leaders netted four goals in the first half and added a fifth late on in a 5-2 thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside derby to stay eight points clear of Leicester, which beat last-place Watford 2-0. Liverpool scored five in a league game against Everton at home for the first time since 1965, despite leaving out two of the team’s formidable attacking trio — Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino — as well as captain Jordan Henderson. Everton couldn’t take advantage and slipped into the relegation zone on another dark day for its under-pressure manager Marco Silva, who might not stay in the job after this latest loss given the manner of his team’s defending at Anfield. There were also wins for Chelsea and Wolves — the teams in fourth and fifth place, respectively — while Southampton beat Norwich in a match between relegation contenders. KLOPP'S ROTATION Jürgen Klopp claimed his 100th Premier League win in style on a night his decision to rotate his team was utterly vindicated. The first three goals were scored by Divock Origi (2) and Xherdan Shaqiri, the players who replaced Firmino and Salah in the starting lineup. Sadio Mane added the fourth just before halftime and Georginio Wijnaldum scored the fifth in the 90th minute to pile more pressure on Silva, whose Everton team has lost nine of its 15 league games. “The type of mistakes we are making is because the players are playing under big pressure because of the position in the table,” Silva said. “They are making some mistakes that are not normal for the level we are.” VARDY'S STREAK Leicester striker Jamie Vardy scored for the seventh straight game in the Premier League and is closing in on his record of netting in 11 in a row, set in the team's improbable title-winning season in 2015-16. He set Leicester on its way against Watford by converting a 55th-minute penalty before James Maddison added the second goal in injury time. With a club record-tying seventh straight league win, Leicester climbed back in front of Manchester City, which briefly moved into second with a 4-1 win at Burnley on Tuesday. ABRAHAM' SCORING RETURN Tammy Abraham scored one goal and set up another for Chelsea in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on his return to the team after a hip injury. Without Abraham, Chelsea surprisingly lost 1-0 to home to West Ham at the weekend but it looked a more dangerous team with the England striker. Having headed Chelsea in front with his 11th goal of the season, Abraham laid the ball off for Mason Mount to power home a finish high into the net from the edge of the area to give the hosts the lead again after Villa equalized through Trezeguet. Chelsea is fourth, three points behind Man City. WINS FOR WOLVES, SOUTHAMPTON Wolverhampton Wanderers consolidated fifth place and extended its unbeaten run in the Premier League to 10 matches with a 2-0 win over West Ham, whose manager Manuel Pellegrini is back under pressure for his job. Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone were the scorers for Wolves. Southampton moved out of the relegation zone by beating next-to-last Norwich 2-1. Danny Ings gave Southampton the lead with his eighth goal of the season and Ryan Bertrand also scored before Teemu Pukki's second-half reply for Norwich......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

Williamson welcomed to New Orleans by a grateful franchise

By Brett Martel, Associated Press METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Zion Williamson and his family were met with applause and traditional New Orleans jazz as they walked into the Pelicans’ headquarters. The practice gym was filled with team employees and executives eager to welcome the player who has infused the franchise with so much more promise than it appeared to have when six-time All-Star Anthony Davis requested a trade five months ago. Williamson, who was in New York a night earlier when the Pelicans made him the NBA’s top overall draft choice, smiled and looked relaxed in his blue suit and white designer sneakers. When the music was turned down and it was time for Williamson to address the gathering, he spoke with an easy manor and kept his comments short and simple. He promised maximum effort and flexibility, but stopped short of forecasting the type of greatness for himself that so many others have predicted. “I look at things from a realistic point of view,” Williamson began during his formal introduction to his first professional home on Friday evening (Saturday, PHL time). He called the praise being showered upon him “a bit much,” and reminded everyone that he is still a couple weeks short of his 19th birthday. “I haven’t played one (NBA) game yet, so I look at it just like that,” Williamson said. “I’m just trying to contribute to the team.” The 6'7", 285-pound forward will probably do a lot more than that, given the force of nature he was in his one season at Duke. He averaged 22.6 points for the Blue Devils and was voted to the ACC’s All-Defensive Team. He also averaged 8.9 rebounds, 2.12 steals and 1.8 blocked shots. Pelicans new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has sought to temper expectations by asserting that Williamson is “not the savior” of the small market franchise that was won two playoff series since relocating from Charlotte in 2002. Griffin also has stated repeatedly that veteran guard Jrue Holiday is the unquestioned leader of the team — which didn’t seem to bother Williamson at all. Williamson visited New Orleans for just a day of meetings before the draft and had dinner at renowned Uptown restaurant Commanders Palace. This second trip is expected to span at least the weekend, and dinner at a downtown steak place was on tap Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), followed by his first community service event at a playground in eastern New Orleans on Saturday. His parents and siblings also have made the trip, and they were expected to help the Pelicans’ newest star look for a place to live. Williamson said he enjoyed the televised images of fans in New Orleans celebrating wildly in a downtown street upon his selection. “I didn’t think I deserved all that,” he said with a smile, “but it was just passion for the team.” Even Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry and owner Gayle Benson struggled to contain their enthusiasm for Williamson’s arrival. “To receive the No. 1 pick in the draft is a prize any sports team would covet; this one is different,” Benson said. “We could not have asked for a better player with more potential on the court. More importantly, we could not have hoped for a better person to represent and help lead our franchise into this new chapter.” Added Gentry, “You don’t get to coach guys like this very often. When you’re lucky enough to have a generational player like that that you’re going to be able to coach, you relish just the honor of being able to coach a guy like that.” “You have to have the talent, but you have to have people that have the character that he has. It’s going to be enjoyable to see the style of basketball that we’re going to play. He more than fits into it. It’s going to be exciting to watch.” Williamson said it is easy for him to take such comments — and superstar treatment from fans — in stride. “The thing that keeps me grounded is, I just always think about the times when, like, it was just me, my stepdad and a basketball on an outdoor court,” he said. The Pelicans had the right to draft Williamson first overall after an unlikely victory in the NBA’s draft lottery last month. Before the lottery, odds were that Williamson would wind up in one of the NBA’s largest markets with the New York Knicks. Instead, he’ll be in one of the smallest. But his stepfather, Lee Anderson, said New Orleans was exactly where he was hoping his stepson would go. “I am so thankful,” Anderson said. “I thought this city would be a great place to go, and God worked it out.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2019

Against backdrop of controversy, Red Sox honored by Trump

By Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump honored the World Series champion Boston Red Sox — well, some of them — at the White House on Thursday, but made no mention of the controversy that shadowed the visit. The team's manager, Alex Cora, did not attend the ceremony after citing his frustration with the administration's efforts to help his native Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane. And nearly a dozen members of the team, all players of color, skipped the opportunity to shake Trump's hand. Meanwhile, every white player on the team — as well as outfielder J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — attended. The Red Sox repeatedly denied that there was any sort of racial divide caused by the White House visit, which has been transformed from moment of celebratory ritual to hyper-politicized event under Trump. And there was no sign of discord during the rained-upon ceremony on the White House South Lawn. The U.S. Marine Corps band played versions of "Dirty Water" and "Sweet Caroline," two unofficial Red Sox anthems. A derogatory shout about the Red Sox rival, the New Yankees, was heard. Trump was presented with a Red Sox jersey with No. 18 on the back. The day was not without mishaps: The White House first incorrectly labeled the team as the "Red Socks" on its website and then later, in an email, dubbed them the champions of something called the "World Cup Series." But Trump himself stuck to the correct script, honoring the team's dominant run to the title. "Frankly, they were unstoppable. I watched," said Trump, who noted that the squad had now won more World Series titles than any other franchise this century. He laughed when Martinez teased him for being a Yankees fan. The president was accompanied by two of the team's stars, Martinez and pitcher Chris Sale, from the Oval Office and joined the rest of the team assembled under the South Portico. The team's third base coach, Carlos Febles, who is from the Dominican Republic, stood two rows behind the president. And dozens of administration officials and members of government, many of whom hail from the six New England states, stood on the lawn to cheer. Tom Werner, the team's chairman, downplayed the no-shows, saying that it was each player's personal decision whether to attend. "We don't see it as a racial divide," he said after the team received a post-ceremony tour of the Lincoln Bedroom. "I think, to the extent that we can, baseball is apolitical." A championship team's coach rarely, if ever, misses the White House visit, a tradition that began in earnest in 1924 when then-President Calvin Coolidge invited the Washington Senators. Cora had considered attending Thursday's White House event to call attention to the plight of those in Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria is estimated to have caused nearly 3,000 deaths. But in the end, he opted not to go. "Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting," Cora said in a statement. "Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane Maria struck. I've used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten, and my absence is no different. As such, at this moment, I don't feel comfortable celebrating in the White House." Before the visit, Trump defended his stance on Puerto Rico, falsely asserting once again that the territory received $91 billion in hurricane relief money, which he claimed was "the largest amount of money ever given to any state." In fact, Congress has allocated Puerto Rico just a fraction of that figure. The White House has said Trump's $91 billion estimate includes about $50 billion in speculated future disaster disbursements that could span decades, along with $41 billion already approved. Actual aid to Puerto Rico has flowed more slowly from federal coffers, with about $11 billion given so far. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the U.S government more than $120 billion — the bulk of it going to Louisiana. Trump nonetheless told reporters, "the people of Puerto Rico should really like President Trump." Those around the Red Sox locker room stressed that a player's decision to attend was a personal choice and not, in many cases, political. "Politically, it didn't matter who was in the White House. If I have an opportunity to go to the White House and meet the president, I'm going to go," relief pitcher Heath Hembree said Wednesday. "Nobody tried to persuade me. They have their reasons why not to go." For some players, it may be their only chance for a White House invite. It also reflects a larger trend across baseball: A number of players hail from Trump-friendly states like Texas and Florida, while the sport has also seen a surge in Latino players and a decline in African Americans. Having also won World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013, the Red Sox — who also visited wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday — have been honored at the White House under both Republican and Democratic presidents. But the events have taken on sharp political overtones since Trump took office. When the New England Patriots visited in 2017, Trump's first year in office, far fewer players attended than when the franchise won a title under President Barack Obama. After several players on the Philadelphia Eagles and Golden State Warriors publicly declared that they would skip White House ceremonies, Trump disinvited the teams. Trump has also instituted a new tradition for the ceremonies, scrapping gourmet meals in favor of offering plates of fast food to the athletes. The Red Sox were not at the White House for a meal, Werner said. Moreover, the optics of the Red Sox visit are certain to receive additional scrutiny due to the history of racially charged moments for both the team and the city it calls home. The Red Sox, infamously, held a failed tryout for Jackie Robinson before he broke the sport's color barrier. They were the last team in the major leagues to integrate. And an Elks Club in the team's former spring training home of Winter Haven, Florida, invited only white players to events, a practice that stopped only in the 1980s, when black players complained ___ Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington, Jimmy Golen in Boston and David Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

Waterfront Cebu launches Feast in a Box

Miss the unexplainable feeling of traveling to different places and trying out diverse food & culture? Well, you may not need to travel far anymore to taste the finest local and international dishes as Waterfront Cebu launches its go-to “Feast in a Box”. Enjoy the conveniently prepared hefty meals at home or in the office […] The post Waterfront Cebu launches Feast in a Box appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 10th, 2020

UAAP 81: When the sleeping giant named UP finally awakened

No cheering - that's the cardinal rule for sportswriters during coverages. In collegiate sports, not even your very own alma mater song is spared. Still, on November 28, 2018, I thought this one time could be an exception to the rule. After all, more than half of the Araneta Coliseum had their hands raised in singing "UP Naming Mahal." Certainly, not one more fist in the air could be considered conspicuous. After all, the University of the Philippines Men's Basketball Team was letting it all out right there on the court. Certainly, not one more show of emotion could be out of place. And after all, the Fighting Maroons had just done it. It, being seeing a new dawn after the so-called dark days. FROM FIGHTING TO WINNING UAAP 81 started very much like how many, many UP seasons did in recent memory. There was a lot of hope, no doubt, what with Paul Desiderio in his last year, Bright Akhuetie in his first year, Gomez de Liano brothers Juan and Javi being back for more, and Bo Perasol still at the helm. Only, being a fan of the Fighting Maroons also meant you know full well all of it couldn't be true. History is a lesson to be learned - and from the promise of Migs De Asis, Mike Gamboa, Martin Reyes, and great Filipino-American hope Mike Silungan and the potential of Mikee Reyes, Woody Co, and Kyles Lao, Diliman has learned many, many lessons, indeed. And then, the season started. A season-opening win became a 1-3 standing. A 3-3 record worsened to 3-5. Standing at an even 5-5 in the stretch run then led to winning three of the last four games in the elimination round. And before you knew it, UP, yes, UP was knocking on the door of the Final Four. Could this be it? Or could this be just the biggest disappointment the Fighting Maroons had ever served? FROM WINNING TO LOSING A winning tradition could be taken for granted. Coming from a school down south that was, is, and forever linked to a particular powerhouse, I, personally, was very much used to winning. Even more, I was right there when Joshua (or Dave, as we called him) Webb, Jeric Fortuna, and Jed Manguera led the team formerly known as the Bengals to a breakthrough championship. So, yeah, personally, my tradition was to root for a winning team - be it in the Jrs. or in the Srs. Come college, though, I traded in the shield of green and white for the luntian at pulang sagisag magpakailanman. And hey, UP Diliman is and always will be the best school in the history of man, in my eyes. In terms of basketball, though, it left much to be desired. As I was about to go to college, the Fighting Maroons went winless in back-to-back years. And then, they had three-win seasons when I was a freshie and a sophomore. In all my four years in college, I only experienced eight wins out of 56. So yeah, in State U, there was the exact opposite of a winning tradition. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't get me wrong here. UP is a power in many, many sports and is a contender for the general championship year in and year out. Back then, though, forgive me if I only had eyes for men's basketball.) FROM JETT TO PAUL And then, a ray of light shone bright, and brighter, and brighter. I have now grown to love Mikee Reyes - he is a great guy and a good analyst. Back then, though, he was a prime proof of what wasn't working in UP. Here was a talent who had a shot at making a name for himself and taking his team along with him for the ride, but unfortunately, just could not put it all together. Reyes was just one of many, many promising players in maroon and green who didn't have the sort of support that a winning tradition entailed. True to their name, though, the Fighting Maroons kept, well, fighting. And in his last year, Jett Manuel proved that the tides could turn in their favor. Manuel would never be the best player on De La Salle University or Ateneo de Manila University or even University of Sto. Tomas and Far Eastern University. Still, he gave his all game in and game out and grew to be a beloved player and leader in Diliman. He set the standard for the kind of fight a Maroon should have and in his last year, steered his squad to a fifth-place finish at 5-9. Not a finish to be proud of by any means, but for the first time in a long time, there were signs of life coming from State U. And that's when I knew Jett Manuel would be my forever King Maroon. However, just two years later, Paul Desiderio made me question that. FROM THEN TO NOW Definitely, Paul Desiderio is not Jett Manuel. Jett is eloquent and looks like he came from an exclusive private school, which he did. Paul speaks in short but sweet terms and is very much proud of his roots in Cebu. What they both have, though, is an undeniable love for UP and an unwavering determination to lead the Fighting Maroons to where they belong. When Manuel left, of course, the reins went to Desiderio and in his very first game as main man, he proved his worth. I know you know what I'm going to talk about - because this was the time he uttered the words that would define State U from that point onto the foreseeable future. "Atin to, papasok to!" -- Paul Desiderio during the timeout. Moments later...#UAAPSeason80 pic.twitter.com/7yafSpldJM — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 10, 2017 The maroon and green yet again fell short of the Final Four that year, but come next season, a playoff berth was, indeed, theirs for the taking. Downing La Salle in the very last game of the elims, they booked a trip to the next round for the first time since 1997. That would have been more than enough for their long-suffering faithful, but they did themselves one better - actually, two better - and upset second-seed and twice-to-beat Adamson University. Just like that, UP would be playing in its first Finals since the days of Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Eric Altamirano, and Joe Lipa. That day, November 28, 2018, would always live on with me. FROM ME TO YOU As bad as I wanted to break the cardinal rule for sportswriters, I didn't. As bad as I wanted to stay on the floor to listen and live in the chorus singing in harmony, "Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan," I couldn't. When UP made history, I had to go back to the press room and finish my full take on the game. Just minutes before, I honestly couldn't believe the breaking report I was working on in my phone and uploading in our website. Really? The Fighting Maroons had done it. Even with the final stat sheet in my hands, I still couldn't believe it. Really? The Fighting Maroons had done it. Even through writing "those back-to-back wins have set up for them a date with defending champion Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three Finals slated for Saturday at the MOA Arena," I still couldn't believe it. Really? The Fighting Maroons had done it. Of course, in the very end, Ateneo was Ateneo and State U had to settle for second-place. Still, there may not be another silver medal that was worth celebrating more. You have to understand that again, this is a team not that far off from its dark days - so, yeah, this silver season was a special season. And so, at the very end of Season 81, when I saw Paul standing on the game officials' table, basking in the UP community's cries of "De-si-de-rio" and "A-tin-to," another chant was playing in my head - "You deserve it." This image, would always live on with me. At the same time, though, I was a firsthand witness to another image that told me this was just the beginning. First Finals appearance, first Finals loss. Fo sho, GDL brothers @javigdl22 and @juan_swish9 will only be better from this. #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/CMV0JH30rh — No Work Normie Riego (@riegogogo) December 5, 2018 Juan and Javi GDL sat on the makeshift awarding stage while the Blue Eagles were enjoying their back-to-back championships and Desiderio was being serenaded by the Fighting Maroons' faithful. Their eyes were welling up with tears, but deep down there, you could also see their determination to be back, to be better, and to say themselves "Atin 'to" to a championship. FROM HERE ON OUT UAAP 81 was Ateneo's, no doubt about that. UAAP 82, when UP was supposedly stronger, was still Ateneo's, yet again no doubt about that. Actually, the Fighting Maroons were even owned by runner-up UST that year - and those Growling Tigers had a Cinderella tale to tell of their own. And yet, for my money, no team in recent memory has won over everybody quite like Paul Desiderio's UP Fighting Maroons. Maybe, just maybe, that's all because I'm an Isko with student no. 2008-6*1*5. Or maybe, just maybe, it's so good to see a sleeping giant awakened - now knowledgeable of how to build a team and now knowledgeable how to put up support for that team. Or maybe, just maybe, it's so good to see homegrown stars like Diego Dario and the GDLs stay home and play home and to see a foreign student-athlete like Akhuetie shine bright both as a student and as an athlete. Or maybe, just maybe, it's so good to put your full faith in somebody like Desiderio who truly, madly, and deeply believed "Atin 'to" - even though recent history said otherwise. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. Norman Lee Benjamin Riego 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

FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World

This story was originally published on Feb. 24, 2019 It’s Saturday night at Mall of Asia and the arena is absolutely rocking. Eternal basketball rivals in the Philippines and South Korea are delivering another classic. Gilas Pilipinas is down to the final minute of regulation against its longtime tormentor in the second of two semifinal games. The national team is up by two, 81-79. The Philippines is hosting the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships where three tickets to the 2014 World Cup are at stake and the winner of this particular game gets one of those tickets. Given the rich history of both teams and what it would mean to the winner, this pivotal game has gone down the wire as everyone pretty much expected. Also knowing the history of both teams in international play, Gilas’ precarious two-point lead was not safe at all. A ghost was lurking in the background and a dreaded curse felt almost inevitable. Down to the final minute of the crucial grudge match between the Philippines and South Korea, guard Jimmy Alapag has the ball and a two-point lead. What he will do will help define not only his career but the legacy of the Gilas name as a national team.   WAKE-UP CALL Even before the Philippines-Korea game, Gilas Pilipinas already had to go through one emotional game early in its homestand for the Asian Championships. In a preliminary round showdown against Chinese Taipei, the Filipinos collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Taiwanese to steal a morale-boosting 84-79 win. In 2013, the relationship between the two countries hit a rough patch over the death of one Taiwanese fisherman. In an updated May 17 report by CNN’s Jethro Mullen, “Taiwan has reacted angrily after one of its fishermen was killed by a Philippine coast guard vessel.” Taiwan had frozen applications from OFWs seeking jobs in its territory and the government of then President Ma Ying-jeou demanded an apology, among other things, from the Philippines. While the national basketball teams of both countries never really had any prior animosity with each other, tension was naturally present as both teams squared off in Group A action. Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese-Taipei both entered the showdown with identical 2-0 records and the winner would take control of solo Group A lead heading into round 2. Taking a good lead into the fourth quarter, the Philippines was outscored by 18 in the last 10 minutes and the national team took its worst home loss in quite some time. “At the time, it was a huge game for us. We understood what was happening in Taipei during that particular time. We really wanted to win for what our kababayans were going through at that time,” guard Jimmy Alapag said on that first home loss in the 2013 Asian Championships. “We didn’t get the job done, and it was tough especially to lose a game like that, it was a very emotional and it was a game that we knew we needed,” he added. The crushing loss meant that the Philippines had little room for error in round 2. While Gilas didn’t have any world beaters lined up in the second round, anything less than a perfect run would have meant an early clash with Asia’s established powerhouse teams in the knockout stages. On the other side of the bracket, defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea were battling for position and were expected to finish in the top-3. That means if Gilas Pilipinas failed to finish no. 1 in its group, the national team would have faced one of those teams in the quarterfinals. Gilas picked up a crucial win over Qatar in the 6th of August and the day after, the Philippines got some help from those same Qataris as they beat Taipei in a close decision. At the end of round 2, all teams finished with identical win-loss records but Gilas Pilipinas would take over first place after all tiebreaks were considered, barely edging out Taipei. The Philippines ended up avoiding defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea and instead got Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. No. 2 Taipei drew China and the third-running Qataris were matched up with the South Koreans. “I think that was the moment we grew up and grew closer. I think that was the lowest of the lows, just because of the atmosphere and what was going on between both countries. It kind of felt that we let our end of the bargain down, you know what I mean? We’re on our home soil and we didn’t take care of business. I think that was one of those moments where we had to really check ourselves and find a way to make it right,” forward Gabe Norwood said of the Taipei loss. “But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In tournaments like FIBA-Asia it’s important that you have short-term memory whether it was a win or a loss. We needed to let go of that game and continue to stay the course, keep our focus in the tournament,” Alapag added. On August 7, four days after Gilas lost to Taipei, the rift between the Philippines and Taiwan would reach a resolution and the latter country lifted its freeze hiring and other sanctions on the former. The Philippines also did issue on official apology over the death of the Taiwanese fisherman a couple of months prior and the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila recommended the pressing of homicide charges to erring members of the Philippine Coast Guard.   DARK HISTORY If the word “rival” is to be defined as a, “person or group that tries to defeat or be more successful than another person or group” then sure, the Philippines and South Korea are rivals. Both countries are rivals in the Asian basketball scene and they have been going at it for a very long time. But if the word rival can also mean “equal” or “peer,” is the Philippines really a worthy basketball rival to South Korea? The Philippines’ history with South Korea in terms of basketball is dark. Very dark. Consider the most high-profile matches between the two countries and you’ll see that the Philippine national team is just not at the level of South Korea. Or at the very least, Koreans always seem to reach 120 percent of their potential when they play Filipinos and we barely bring out 80 percent of our abilities when matched up against our East Asian neighbors. The 1998 PBA Centennial team, arguably the greatest Philippine team ever assembled, was demolished by South Korea in the Asian Games. A national team set up for gold only settled for bronze. Speaking of a bronze medal game, the original Gilas Pilipinas team lost a podium finish to South Korea in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships. That team squandered a double-digit lead and collapsed late. Of course, who can forget the semifinals of the 2002 Asian Games in Busan when Olsen Racela had the chance to put the Philippines up four but missed two free throws. South Korea would win with a booming triple at the buzzer off a broken play and would later take down China to capture the gold medal. South Korea is the Philippines’ basketball nemesis for all intents and purposes. A worthy adversary that always seem to emerge victorious at our expense. Still, all that previous disappointment didn’t seem to bother Gilas Pilipinas six years ago. The team was not scared and instead, they were excited even. One factor to greatly consider was that fact that the game was in Manila. It makes all the difference to play at home. “We understood the bad history that we had with Korea. We haven’t been very successful with them in quite some time but we knew from Day 1 that if ever we got an opportunity to play them at home, then we have a great chance,” Alapag said. “Man, pre-game, it was just the focus. Everybody was up for the challenge, I don’t think anybody was really nervous, I think it was just the anxiety... we wanted to get out there and do it already,” Norwood added. Playing at home had its perks for sure, but it also had its drawbacks. For all the painful losses the Philippines suffered at the hands of South Korea, it would have been devastating if Gilas actually took a beating in Manila. Stakes were extra high in this particular chapter of this long, ongoing saga. “There was always pressure, it was something that we acknowledged early. Playing at home, it’s great having that support but at the same time, there is some added pressure because you wanna make sure that you make our home crowd proud of the team that they watch and ultimately, win games,” Alapag said, making sure to note that the national team knew of the disadvantages of playing at home even before the Korea game. “It was there but it was something that we acknowledged and we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of the opportunity playing at home,” he added.   ALL FILIPINO, ALL HEART Once it was go time, the Philippines-South Korea game went about pretty normal, as you would expect any game from these two national teams. But even before halftime, an injury to Gilas center Marcus Douthit changed the complexion of the semifinals showdown. All of a sudden, the Philippines was without its anchor, without its best player. Sure, there were players on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace Douthit’s size but there was simply no one on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace his talent, production, and just overall presence. June Mar Fajardo was in that Gilas bench but it 2013, the would-be five-time PBA Most Valuable Player was just not at that level yet. It would have been easy for Gilas Pilipinas to fold like cheap furniture and succumb to the overwhelming pressure of trying to overcome South Korea to reach a stage very few Filipinos have reached before. Gilas didn’t fold and instead, the Douthit injury rallied the team even further. “Alam mo sa totoo lang, puso na lang yun eh. Nung nawala si Marcus talaga, sabi ni coach kailangan doble kayod tayo. Dahil sobrang dehado tayo kumbaga, wala na tayong import, wala tayong malaki,” forward Marc Pingris said. With Douthit gone, Ping ate up all of his minutes and worked by committee with guys like Ranidel De Ocampo and Japeth Aguilar to fill in the gaps. “As a player naman, kami nagusap-usap kami na kahit anong mangyari, lalaban kami. Yung time na yun, talagang patay kung patay,” Ping added. Despite losing its best player to an untimely injury, Gilas Pilipinas’ confidence in winning never wavered. With their collective backs against the wall, the Philippine national team played even better. Unlike the later iterations of Gilas Pilipinas, the 2013 team, aptly called Gilas 2.0, had the luxury of having actual preparation before the FIBA-Asia Championships. The amount of work that came before the tournament and the Korea game, the bond built over countless hours of training, all of that helped the national team avoid a monumental meltdown in front of a rabid Manila crowd. “We were such a close-knit team in terms of our chemistry, in terms of the talent that we had, so we felt confident even when Marcus went down early in the game. If you looked at our huddle, you had 11 more very confident guys, not just in themselves but more importantly, in each other,” Alapag said. “That just boiled down to the chemistry that we had. I don’t think any of us panicked, we were all confident in each other. We’ve all been into that situation with our PBA teams, having the ball in our hands and making a play. Knowing that we had five weapons on the floor that could make the winning play, I think it made us very confident and we were able to sustain our composure,” the former Gilas captain added.   THE GHOST AND ITS CURSE Shin Dong Pa, Hur Jae, Lee Sang-min, Oh Se-Keun, TJ Moon, and Cho Sung-min are just some players from the South Korean national team that inflicted incredible damage to the Philippines over the course of decades. The dreaded Ghost of South Korea takes form in these players and its curse is to give Filipinos the most heart-crushing loss possible. In 2013, the Ghost was Kim Min-goo and his curse was to beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Despite losing Marcus Douthit and trailing by three points at the break, the Philippines started to turn the tables in the second half. Gilas Pilipinas unleashed Jayson Castro and the Blur led a blazing offense in the third quarter, finding a way to take a 10-point lead over South Korea, the Philippines’ largest of the night. But as the dust settled and Gilas holding a 65-56 lead entering the final period, an ominous figure would make his presence felt. The Korean Ghost has arrived and his name was Kim Min-goo. His curse? Beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Kim was 22 and a senior in college when he made the South Korean national basketball team as a backup shooter in 2013. In nine games in Manila, Kim would play well enough to make the tournament’s All-Star team, averaging 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He led Asian Championships with 25 three-point field goals, 10 came in the last two games and five came against Gilas Pilipinas. Kim drilled back-to-back triples to open the fourth quarter against the Philippines. Later, his fifth triple — a four-point play at that — pushed the Koreans to within a point, 72-73. South Korea would take over soon after as Lee Seung-jun dunked the basketball on a fastbreak. The Ghost has arrived and his curse is in effect. “Ako pumasok sa isip ko yun nung lumamang Korea, na putek ito na naman,” Pingris said. “Pero ang sabi ko, sayang yung opportunity, kaya naman eh. So sabi ni Jimmy samin, no matter what happens wag kami gi-give up. Pinaghirapan natin to at may goal tayo, this year aalis tayo,” he added, noting the team’s goal to get into Spain and compete with the world’s best national teams. Faced with the possibility of dealing with a devastating defeat, Gilas had enough mental fortitude to keep things going. Trust your system, trust your preparation, trust your crowd, trust your teammates, and more importantly, trust yourselves. “You’re never out of the game if you’re playing at home,” Norwood said as they stared a deficit late against their destined rivals. “I think that was our mindset, keep it close and just find a way,” he added. Jimmy Alapag found a way.   BORN READY Down 73-75, Jimmy Alapag was under heavy duress when he let go of a three-pointer from the left wing just in front of his bench. It was good to go. The Philippines was back on top by one as Alapag somehow managed to get his team to snap out of an initial shock following Korea’s strong fourth-quarter rally. The stage is now set for a wild finish and Jimmy will star in the final act of what has been an incredible show by Gilas and South Korea. “In situations like that, as an athlete and as a pro, that’s the situations that you dream about,” Alapag said.  “Those are shots that you practice when you were a kid. When the shot clock is winding down, to have an opportunity to knock down a shot. It’s a shot that I practiced thousands of times,” he added. After the Philippines and South Korea traded baskets for the lead, Alapag made perhaps the most underrated play in this crazy and emotional encounter between two basketball rivals. Tasked with inbounding the ball just near underneath his own basket, Alapag found his Talk ‘N Text teammate Ranidel De Ocampo for an open look at three. Swish. Gilas leads, 81-77, with 91 seconds to go. “Ranidel was my favorite target for a very, very long time in my career,” Alapag said on the play that most people probably don’t even remember. “Once I saw that he got open, I wanted to make sure that I gave him as great a pass as possible and Ranidel has been known for a long time to take care of the rest,” he added.   THE EXORCIST “Yeah, I was right under the basket,” Gabe Norwood says with a laugh when asked if he remembers the shot that changed the course of Gilas Pilipinas as a national team. Late in the fourth quarter of what was essentially a heavyweight bout, the Philippines just landed two strong haymakers but South Korea would refuse to go down without a fight, beating the count of 10 each time. Down to the final minute of a crucial grudge match with a World Cup berth on the line, Jimmy Alapag had his hands on the basketball as Gilas would go to its halfcourt set. Jimmy will never let go of said basketball. Up two, Jimmy did what Olsen wished he could 11 years prior. Up two against South Korea in a pivotal semifinal game, Alapag received a screen from Marc Pingris, which was enough to momentarily shake off Kim Tae-sul. With some room, Alapag drifted to his left and let a three-point shot fly. Boom. Gilas leads, 84-79, with 54 seconds to go. The shot would later be remembered as the one that ended the Korean Curse, the one that finally exorcised the Ghost. “The first thought that came to my mind was don’t miss,” Jimmy said of the clutch jumper. “That last one, Ping sets a good screen and I got a clean look. It’s a shot that myself, and Jayson [Castro], and Larry [Fonacier], and Gary [David], and Jeff [Chan], all of us, we practice that shot time and time again after practice. So you know, it was a shot that I was confident in but in that moment, all you’re thinking about was don’t miss,” he added. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself and to be confidednt in your preparation. It’s a different thing to actually perform under such pressure. As soon as Alapag managed to shoot his shot, Gabe Norwood did what any other good teammate would do and got in position to get the offensive rebound. You know, just in case. Gabe got the ball alright, but he got it after it swished through the rim. “When he put the shot up, I tried to crash for the rebound but I basically knew that it was going in,” he said. “I had probably the best view, I was right under the basket. I think caught it after it went through too,” Norwood added. Alapag checked out moments later as the Philippines went to its defensive lineup in order to stop another Korean comeback. South Korea turned to its most effective shooter in Kim and as he rose up to try and answer Alapag’s triple, Norwood met him at the apex for the game’s most dramatic stop. Gabe blocked Kim and Gilas would finish things off with a final Marc Pingris basket on the other end. A historic 86-79 win was complete. “I still get chills thinking about it, to look up and see grown men just breaking down. My wife was trying to hold my kids and she was holding back tears. It was just an awesome moment, the bond that we had on that team, the stuff that we did to get prepare, I think we poured it all out in that game,” Norwood said on the monumental victory. “I think it probably didn’t hit me until the final buzzer sounded. Not just for me but for the entire team, when that final buzzer sounded, it was such a special group of guys and the fact that we could share that moment with not just with each other but the entire country, it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Alapag added, savoring the moment of a Philippine win over Korea 28 years in the making.   THE INTRODUCTION Gilas Pilipinas would lose to Iran the next day in the Finals of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships. The Philippines put up a fight but Hamed Haddadi would prove to be too powerful to stop. It would take another two years for Gilas to beat Iran but that didn’t really matter in the moment. The Philippines is headed to the World Championships for the first time in three decades. The Philippines has beaten South Korea and one singular shot has allowed the Gilas name to be known around the world. Jimmy wouldn’t say that though. At least not directly in that way. “For me, that shot was the biggest for my career. But really, it was our entire team. We’ve gone through so much and that was just one particular play that really culminated the entire game and all the contributions from other guys from Gabe’s defense, to Ping’s rebounding, to Japeth’s rim protecting, to Jayson and LA doing a lot of the legwork,” Alapag said. “Everybody had their part in contribution to the game. After the shot, after the buzzer sounded, it was just a very special moment for us as a team and for Philippine basketball to show that all of the sacrifices, all of the hard work, now it’s given an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to the world,” he added. Jimmy wouldn’t say it, but his teammates would. That shot of his that beat South Korea in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships introduced the Gilas name to the world. It announced that the Philippines has finally arrived. Gilas’ breakthrough overtime win a year later in Spain against Senegal — a game Jimmy pretty much decided late as well — made it known that Filipinos are here to stay on the World stage. “I would say so, it got us to where we wanted to be in the World Cup. I think we shocked some people there as well. But just the work that went in, I think it showed the country that we can get back to where we want to be as long as you work together,” Norwood said. “Yung puso ni Jimmy, grabe naman. Makikita mo maliit pero gusto lang niya talaga manalo. Ang liit pero parang lion pag nagalit eh, nandoon yung tiwala namin sa kanya. Ano pa ba masasabi mo, Jimmy is Jimmy Alapag,” Pingris would add.   [NOTES: At the time of original publishing, Gilas Pilipinas was fighting to make a return trip to the FIBA World Cup, this time in China in 2019. To secure its slot, the the Philippine national team needed to beat Kazakhstan in Astana plus a loss from Japan, Jordan, and/or Lebanon. One of the teams that can help Gilas is South Korea... ironically. Jimmy Alapag retired from national team play in 2014 and retired playing for good in 2016. He has since made himself a champion basketball coach in the ABL. Marc Pingris suffered an ACL injury in 2018 and is in the process of returning for his PBA team in the current 2019 season. Gabe Norwood is still in Gilas. He’s still an effective two-way weapon. He can still dunk and will stop your best player too.]   [Updated Notes: The Philippines beat Kazakhstan to make the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Gilas got help from... South Korea. The Koreans beat Lebanon on the road, allowing Gilas to advance to the World Championships outright with a victory over Kazakhstan.]   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Morikawa quickly goes from college grad to major champion

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

CJ Perez happy to help out as driver-slash-model for wife s business

The year 2020 has actually been good to CJ Perez. Along with winning Rookie of the Year in the PBA, the top overall pick in the 2019 Draft officially tied the knot with now-wife Sienna and the newlyweds are expecting their second child. Aside from baby Tanisha and her soon-to-be sibling, though, the Perezes apparently have another baby that needs looking after. A month ago, CJ and Sienna opened an online store selling handmade crafts for the home - and of course, they had to name it after their firstborn. For the cornerstone of Terrafirma Dyip, he has no worries whatsoever about having a new business in the face of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. "Business partner ko asawa ko e so ang dali lang ng trabaho. Yung trust tsaka yung suporta ko, nasa kanya lang lagi," he said. He then continued, "Kung saan siya masaya, dun din ako. I-try lang namin 'to, malay natin, lumaki." Tanisha's specializes in rattan baskets, drawers, hampers, planters, organizers, racks, trays as well as pots made by locals in Nueva Ecija. One thing the startup has going for it is its driver-slash-model. "CJ is my driver, delivery guy, kargador, and model all at the same time," Sienna said, with a laugh. He then continued, "His positivity keeps me going. He believes in me so I promised myself I wouldn't let him down." Yes, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Gilas Pilipinas member CJ Perez may very well be seen bringing over their goods to Balintawak where delivery services would then be the ones to take them to clients. While the 6-foot-1 playmaker, for sure, is the main man in Tanisha's, just as important are the Nueva Ecija craftsmen who make it all possible. "We decided to go home to my province as we thought it would be safer. Once we were here, I started redecorating my bedroom and found myself fascinated with our local products," his wife shared. She then continued, "I asked a local craftsman if they can do the designs of baskets, organizers, wall decors, and hanging lamps I wanted and they did them. I fell in love with each of them and posted them on social media. It gained so much attention so I thought maybe I could make this my business." Deciding to push through with it once and for all was far from easy, of course. "I was hesitant at first. I asked him, 'What if walang bumili?'" Mrs. Perez narrated. She then continued, "But CJ was so supported. He told me na, 'It's okay. If nobody buys it, then it's not for us. We'll just try another business." And so, with funds from his first year in Columbian (now Terrafirma) as well as all his games for Gilas Pilipinas and winnings from individual awards, the Perezes launched Tanisha's. Just a month into its launch, the online store has nearly two thousand followers. And the newlyweds are nothing but hopeful that this is just the start for them in business. "For now, taga-support muna ako sa gusto ng asawa ko. Sana nga, magkaroon pa kami ng malaking business," the husband said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

What’s in style? Safe shopping.

Rustan’s goes all out with safety measures, including the latest in disinfection and sanitation. THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. Rustan’s utilizes Spanish technology Sanivir, which contains active ingredients proven to kill bacteria, molds, and coronavirus These extraordinary times have completely shifted the definition of so many ordinary words. Take, for example, “weekends.” What does a weekend even mean, when everyone is living their weekends day in, day out? People cooped up inside their homes, Netflix and chilling (or pacing, depending on current anxiety levels), wearing their Natori Fortuna Mandarin all day, as governments all over the world caution to shelter in place.  Or “homecooked.” Everything’s veritably homecooked now—whether it’s cooked in your home, by you, or cooked in somebody else’s home, by an upstart baker you support because she’s your niece, or by your favorite chef, who is left with no choice but to create his oeuvres from his home kitchen.  Or “luxury.” Let’s be honest. Luxury—its BC (before Covid) definition—contained overused keywords like glamour, opulence, indulgence, lavishness. But times, they’ve changed.  Fancy things now seem so unnecessary, so excessive, so out of touch, so…pointless—in a world that has hastily pivoted back to the basics. Sipping tea from a Royal Albert 1980 Roseblush cup doesn’t seem as luxurious as being able to score some actual, hard-to-acquire Gold Yen Zhen tea from TWG, even if you have to gulp it from those ubiquitous bamboo cups.  The pandemic has changed what luxury meant. Now, luxury is the feeling of being safely ensconced in our cocoons, safe from the virus, safe from the madding crowds. Safety is luxury. To be more accurate: Luxury is being safe, while experiencing as few inconveniences as possible. One Home, One HopeMarketers and entrepreneurs are now realizing, after putting in all necessary work to convince their clients to come back, that a sense of safety is beyond physical, it is psychological. It’s Plexiglass with perception, masks coupled with marketing.  Brands, to successfully ride out these challenging times, need to do more than just tick off government checklists—they need to bank on their legacies, their ethos, their abiding sense of connection to loyal clientele.  AT YOUR SERVICE. Rustan’s opened up a Sanivir desk to allow its customers to avail of its method In the travel industry, as it is in the retail industry, it’s about leveraging on your loyal clientele’s sense of home. “Home” is no longer just their place of residence, but their familiar zones. It’s about “feeling at home.” As people start to nervously and grudgingly go out, they will only want to stay and explore sacred spaces where they’ve “felt at home.” Luxury retailer Rustan’s understands this well. “Our goal for the past 70 years has always been to serve the community with great service and to provide a safe environment that feels like home,” Nedy Tantoco, chairman of Rustan Commercial Corporation, says. “In this new chapter, we are committed to the idea of ‘One Home, One Hope.’ As an establishment that has been a second home for many shoppers, we will stay dedicated in implementing thorough safety protocols to ensure that our employees and shoppers are protected and can visit us with ease of mind.” And this is why higher-end businesses like Rustan’s will flourish, despite the financial challenges Covid-19 brings. They have the space, and they obviously can very well afford to put stringent safety measures in place. Precise precautions are in their DNA. These are establishments that cater to the VVIPs, whose exacting standards they’ve always tried to meet.  And it’s not just loyal clients who will seek out these private spaces—the occasional and habitual shopper will gravitate toward businesses that offer them this hushed environment. Going inside cramped little boutiques have lost their novelty, and many will shirk away from places that tend to be crowd favorites.  At Rustan’s, shoppers have always counted on the intimacy of the shopping experience. Unobtrusive but alert sales personnel have always kept their distance as you scan the racks, and there’s always a sense of quiet order—a serene retail floor space, backed by an efficient team who anticipate your needs and who move with the fluidity of a well-directed orchestra.  This efficiency will be in full display when you visit the store again—that is if you still haven’t since it reopened in June.   Opened after three months of closure, the luxury retailer has implemented, in compliance with government regulations, security measures like foot baths, thermal scans, hand sanitation, and mandatory wearing of masks. You’ll also see staff repeatedly disinfecting touchpoints like escalator rails and elevator buttons, and alcohol dispensers are going to be ubiquitous.   RETAIL WONDER. Sanivir is perfect for retail spac-es as smoke is dry and won’t stick to clothing Managers, sales associates, security personnel, and cleaners are all wearing masks, face shields, and goggles. But it’s the little touches that will remind you how they’ve set the bar high—sanitation boxes are placed in fitting rooms for clothes that are not purchased, fitting rooms are sanitized after every use, and store personnel are required to steam the clothes before putting them back on display.  At the payment counter, all credit cards will be sanitized, and packages will be disinfected before being handed to the customer. At the store’s East Café, tables are separated with plastic shields, and so are the wash basins in the restrooms, which will each have a sanitary officer, whose only job is it to disinfect the toilet after every use.  And that’s just the stage. Backstage, it’s just as—if not more—exacting. Introducing Sanivir, the latest in disinfection technology “Even in our employees’ canteens we have placed plastic shields to protect each of our employees while they are having their lunch break,” Nedy says. The company has required all returning employees to be tested for Covid-19.  Rustan’s is also continually disinfected using Sanivir, a technology introduced in the Philippines by chemist Pinky Tobiano of KPP Powers Commodities, who is also CEO of Qualibet Testing Services. “Sanivir is a smoke disinfectant from Spain, which contains glutaraldehyde and orthopenyl phenol—two active ingredients have been tested that can kill bacteria, molds, and viruses that have been proven against coronavirus by laboratories in EU.” PINKY’S PROMISE. Pinky Pe Tobiano, the chemistwho brought the technology to the Philippines “It was great timing and serendipitous that we found the product right before the pandemic escalated to the level it is now,” Pinky tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “Sanivir was both an innovative and unique product that addresses the problem we currently have—it is easy to use, cost-friendly, effective, and safe.” It is a perfect disinfectant for a retail space—it only utilizes smoke, is dry, and won’t stick to clothing. “When Pinky introduced to me her disinfection program, I immediately asked her to do my father’s house and my own house,” Nedy shares. “I was so satisfied with the service that I asked her if she could open a service desk at Rustan’s to allow our customers the chance to avail of this disinfecting method. It’s so easy. Any housewife can do it. It allows us the ease of disinfecting without a fuss. It also works for our cars. The service desk has been open for two weeks at Rustan’s Ayala Avenue. And I am happy to say that it has met full acceptance with quite a number of Rustan’s customers.” Its ease of use is an advantage. “Just open the can, remove the plastic cover of the wick, set on a flat surface, light the wick, and leave for the next six to eight hours. The smoking process lasts for only one to two minutes, then disinfection takes place for the next six to eight hours,” Pinky says. “That’s good for 14 days.” And the cost? Surprisingly very minimal.  “One can of Sanivir of 25 grams is P1,750 and it’s good for 14 days for a room of 30 to 50 square meters,” Pinky says. “The cost per day is only a P125 investment. If you have five people in the room, the investment per person per day is only P25.”    But for those who are not in the mood to shop in-store, Rustan’s online service has amped up its service. Apart from its website, fortuitously launched a year ago, you can also tap the Personal Shoppers on Call Service, where sales associates respond to you on Viber, after which you can have your items delivered to you, or picked up by the curbside. Nedy shares, “And very soon, we will launch our Rustan’s Concierge Service, where customers can call a single number, and will be immediately assigned a personal shopper to attend to their needs.”  Now, many ways words and concepts are redefined in these troubled times—but having your own personal shopper, one who’ll do your shopping for you as you leisurely read the latest Kevin Kwan Sex and Vanity book in the comfort of your home?  We’re guessing that that’s a definition of luxury that won’t likely ever change—unprecedented crisis or not.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

LPGA returns with Kang posting 66 at Inverness for the lead

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Danielle Kang went more than six months without competing and looked as though she had never been away, playing bogey-free at Inverness Club for a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead in the LPGA Drive On Championship. The LPGA Tour’s much-awaited return from the COVID-19 pandemic brought an immediate sense of its new world. Kang had no idea where she stood after a closing birde. “There aren’t any leaderboards on the golf course,” Kang said. Inverness, where Paul Azinger beat Greg Norman in a playoff at the 1993 PGA Championship, is hosting the Solheim Cup next year and offered to stage the first event back for the LPGA Tour since the Women’s Australian Open on Feb. 16. The LPGA Tour remains in northeast Ohio next week before heading to Scotland. Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England also played bogey-free for a 67. Celine Boutier of France and Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa also were at 5 under until both made bogey on the closing hole. They settled for a 68. The foremost global tour in golf attracted 130 players from some 30 countries, though it was missing the leading stars from powerhouse South Korea. Jin Young Ko, the No. 1 player in the world, and Sung Hyun Park have stayed home and are playing on the Korean LPGA. Neither is expected to travel to Scotland for the Women’s British Open in three weeks. The lone Korean among the top 10 -- a rarity given the country’s strength in women’s golf -- was Hee Young Park at 70. Kang, a former Women’s PGA champion, paid particular attention to the speed of the greens at Inverness, making six birdies and a number of key par putts to keep her round going. “Even if you hit a good shot, it’s not an easy putt,” Kang said. “I almost three-putted from 9 feet. Definitely had a really good attitude, and it was really fun to be back.” The LPGA Tour is not allowing spectators, though that wasn’t a problem for Kang. She was more concerned about her etiquette with two other players, different from a more casual attitude at home. Kang played only twice at the start of the year in the Florida events, including a third-place finish Jan. 23 at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. The field attracted four of the top 10 from the world ranking, and Kang (No. 4) Minjee Lee of Australia (No. 8) were the only ones to break par. Lee shot 69. Nelly Korda, the highest-ranked player at No. 2 in the world, opened with two birdies in three holes and closed with another birdie. It was the part in between that cost her, and she had a 76. Lexi Thompson, who has slipped to No. 9, opened with a 73. For most of them, it was simply good to be back. Lydia Ko made a long birdie to close out her round of 69, joining Lee and Amy Olson. “I saw some of the girls and I was like, ‘Man, it’s nice to not see you through a virtual app or on social media,’” Ko said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

Greenhills celebrates a healthier and more active lifestyle with Active Playground

With the invisible enemy still around us everyday, having a healthy immune system is key to safeguarding yourself against COVID-19. Since most of us have been cooped up at home in the past months, it is important to find creative ways of staying active and fit even when going about our day-to-day lives, such as grocery shopping, dining out or doing errands.  Greenhills fully encourages everyone to continue to stay active and is constantly providing ways to motivate consumers towards a more fit and healthier lifestyle. With this, Greenhills is pioneering the launch of Active Playground that promotes a convenient space for bikers, joggers and people who want to have a leisurely workout throughout the day. In an effort to accommodate the increase in bikers due to the limited transportation amidst this GCQ, Greenhills has also worked to create a bike-friendly mall for everyone. Biking  Whether you’re biking for fitness, or biking to get your essentials, Greenhills will offer dedicated bike lanes and bike parking. There are also signages placed throughout the complex to guide bikers and to lead them to the designated parking spaces where they can lock their bikes before shopping. For those that bike for fitness, every day from 6 AM to 8 AM, Greenhills will be implementing bike priority lanes.  Fitness Since walking is one of the easiest ways to get moving, Greenhills has developed an even more enjoyable walking atmosphere with pop-up challenges and workouts open for everyone. To encourage mall goers to stay fit and active, there will be pop-up challenges in different areas of the mall, encouraging patrons to jump, hop, balance and have fun. There are also markers that indicate the number of steps taken and how many calories can be burned once they complete a certain number of signs.   As guests walk around the certified walk and bike friendly Greenhills Mall, they will be greeted with motivational signs to remind them to make the most out of the day and to always treat their body well. Through Active Playground, Ortigas Malls makes staying fit and active easy as they integrate it into our daily lives and mall-going routines. Watch out for the launch of Active Playground in Tiendestas and Estancia soon. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2020

SEAG triathlon champ Nikko Huelgas gives back to frontliners on birthday

The triathlete, who is also the chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee Athlete's Commission, gave away more than 200 packed meals to frontliners and the needy in his home city of Las Pinas......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 19th, 2020

Once upon a time, Big Ben Mbala wasn t that big

Ben Mbala's first choice was Ateneo de Manila University rather than De La Salle University. Long before the UAAP archrivals, however, San Beda University apparently had its sights set on the Cameroonian powerhouse. "The funny thing is, I also talked to San Beda," he said in the inaugural episode of The Prospects Pod. According to Mbala, aside from Southwestern University, where he eventually ended up, the Red Lions also showed interest in him. Back then, though, he felt that he was far from prepared for the big time. "I wasn't that tall yet. I wasn't that big yet. I was still growing from like 6-4 or 6-5. It didn't feel right," he recalled. And so, Mbala decided to first grow into his body and then toughen it up in CESAFI. "I was really skinny back in SWU and I'm not going to say it was easy in Cebu. People might think that I just went there and did my thing, but no," he shared. He then continued, "I was just the backup to Justin Aboude and he competed with [June Mar] Fajardo so I still had to prove myself." Not long after, Aboude, a 6-foot-6 Cameroonian, got sidelined - and the player to be known as "Big Ben" had to fill in his shoes. "That was the time I had to step up. I had more playing time and got to do more stuff. Just like that, things were able to happen for me," he said. Indeed, from that point, "Big Ben" became "Big Ben" and actually only became bigger and bigger. Through it all, he made sure that he was being as good a student as he was an athlete. "In the beginning of all this, of course, I didn't know about (the Philippines) and I didn't even know if my family will just let me fly out and be away from home. Finally, I convinced my mom when I told her I wasn't going to stop studying," he narrated. He then continued, "Her main concern was me focusing on my studies. She was like, 'You can go anywhere you want as long as you continue studying.'" Mbala did just that and did nothing but make his mama proud. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2020

PBA: RR Pogoy on former coach Nash Racela: 'Parang papa ko na siya'

Sure, RR Pogoy is a PBA star now and is a Gilas Pilipinas mainstay but life wasn't so easy for him as recently as the earlier parts of this decade. Pogoy struggled with his transition from Cebu to Manila. Things got so bad that he wanted to quit the FEU Tamaraws to go home. [Related: RR Pogoy almost quit FEU to go home to Cebu] Of course, that didn't happen and he ended up having a final championship season with the Tamaraws, which ended up being the catalyst to his eventual PBA Rookie of the Year win with TNT KaTropa and numerous tours of duties with Gilas Pilipinas, including a FIBA World Cup appearance last year. For Pogoy, one man greatly turned things around for him and that's Nash Racela. Racela took over the Tamaraws during Pogoy's later seasons and was the mastermind behind FEU's consecutive UAAP Finals appearances and eventual Season 78 title. "Actually, si coach Nash parang papa ko na talaga siya," Pogoy said of Racela on 2OT. "Tinulungan niya ako hindi lang sa basketball. Kasi nung una, pagdating ko sa Manila yung laro ko talaga barumbado eh, puro away lang ganun. Ngayon hindi na," he added. The Pogoy-Racela partnership extended beyond FEU and beyond the basketball court. Coach Nash was a longtime assistant for TNT and Pogoy's rookie season coincided with Racela's first year as KaTropa head coach. In the 2017 season, the flagship MVP franchise went to three straight semifinals and had one Finals stint. For Pogoy, he had the perfect coach as he made his jump from the UAAP to the PBA. "Hindi lang sa basketball, pati yung buhay talaga. Malaking tulong [presence of coach Nash] sa transition ko papuntang PBA," Pogoy said. "Dati nga hindi ko alam yung mga staggered screen, yung mga tawag-tawag na ganyan. Nung dumating na si coach Nash, ayun parang madali na lang yung basketball," he added.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2020

P2,000 sent Troy Rosario to Manila, now he s a star ready to help those in need

Troy Rosario is a former UAAP champion, a Gilas Pilipinas mainstay, and an absolute star for a flagship PBA team in the TNT KaTropa. At 6'7" with an athletic build and shooting prowess, he looks like the ideal modern Filipino basketball player. At 28-years-old, Troy's peak is just about to come. But for all his accomplishments and incredible potential, Rosario's journey to where he is now was far from easy. He had to grind to earn his place in Manila's tough basketball landscape. While he ended up with a UAAP title with NU, ending the school's 60-year drought, Rosario actually had to spend time with the Team B as a walk-in prospect. "Sobrang laking tulong ng National University sakin. Talagang nabago nila buhay ko. Yung opportunity pa lang na binigay nila sakin, hindi nga ako recruit eh," Rosario said. Troy recalled his humble beginnings during the 2OT podcast with PBA broadcasters Magoo Marjon and Carlo Pamintuan. "Walk-in lang ako. Tapos pinadala nila agad ako sa States para mag-training, nag-stay ako doon for six months para mag-training. Yung value ng hard work, doon ko natutunan. Pag nakita mo yung hard work, talagang may babalik sayo," he added. Through his dedication, Rosario's effort has been rewarded tenfold. Battle-tested in basketball and in life, Rosario is choosing not to ignore his past. In the three months of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TNT star is trying to use his connections to help those in need. [Related: PBA: Rosario steps up relief effort as plight of homeless hits close to home] "Lumapit ako sa SM, which is yung mga boss ko nung nasa National U ako tapos may binigay silang tulong. Dinagdagan ko lang then nai-distribute namin ng maayos," Rosario said. "Nung pangalawa, parang gusto ko pa so sabi ko, pag sumahod, tutal wal naman masyadong gastos nandito lang sa bahay, nag-allot ako ng konti para maka-tulong sa mga homeless dito malapit samin," he added. Rosario admits that it's tough for him to look away when there are people in need. After all, before his basketball career started, he could barely afford the trip to Manila. Troy knows what it feels like to struggle, and now with a successful young career, he's trying to do his part. "Naalala ko pa nga yung pag-punta ko ng Manila, talagang pinilit lang ng mga magulang ko," Rosario said. "Yung natitirang binhi namin, talagang binenta para may pamasahe ako, naalala ko pa dalawang libo yun eh. Tinaya talaga para sakin, kaya alam ko yung pakiramdam nung wala," he added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020