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Epic Games battles to get Fortnite back in App Store

Epic Games will strive anew Monday to convince a judge that its hit title Fortnite should be restored to Apple's App Store, despite sidestepping the tech titan's standard commission on transactions......»»

Category: techSource: thestandard thestandardSep 27th, 2020

AP Was There: Seles tops Graf in riveting French Open final

By The Associated Press EDITOR’S NOTE -- Every French Open features matches that are memorable for one reason or another. There are upsets. Comebacks. Dramatic moments. Historic accomplishments. The AP is republishing stories about a handful of such matches while the postponed Grand Slam tournament was supposed to be played. One match memorable for the drama and competition between two all-time greats was the 1992 final at Roland Garros between Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Less than a year later, Seles was stabbed by a spectator at a match in Germany. The following story was sent June 6, 1992. ___ By STEPHEN WILSON AP Sports Writer PARIS (AP) — This was a match no one deserved to lose. Monica Seles and Steffi Graf dueled for two hours and 43 minutes Saturday, matching each other shot for shot, fighting for the lead game after game. Finally, after an epic third set lasting 18 games and 91 minutes, Seles emerged with a 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 victory for her third straight French Open title. “It’s the most emotional match I’ve ever played,” said Seles, who is now halfway to winning the Grand Slam. “This one’s always going to stay in my memory.” “It really couldn’t have been a better final,” she said. “It shows women’s tennis is getting more and more exciting. It’s just too bad for whoever lost. Both deserved to win.” Even in defeat, Graf agreed it was a memorable match. “If you play 10-8 in the final set, it definitely is special,” she said. “Those are very special matches, even if you lose.” Seles became the first woman to capture three consecutive French Opens since Germany’s Hilde Sterling accomplished the feat from 1935 to 1937. Seles, strengthening her hold on the No. 1 ranking, has now won six Grand Slams in her career, including the last five in which she has appeared. She missed Wimbledon last year, but will be competing there in two weeks to try to win the third leg of the Grand Slam. Saturday’s third set provided some of the greatest drama in tennis — men’s or women’s — in recent years. “I’ve never played a set like that in my life,” Seles said. There were furious rallies, fantastic gets, lunging winners, frequent shifts in momentum. Despite fatigue, both players were so pumped up they showed their emotions after nearly every point. Graf would yell “Yes!” clench her fist and slap her hip after a winner. When Seles lost a point, she would shriek “Noooo,” close her eyes and grimace in agony. The lead swung back and forth. Seles was up 5-3. Graf saved four match points in the next game and moved ahead 6-5 and 7-6. Seles broke and went up 8-7. Graf broke back for 8-8. Seles broke again and then finally held serve to close out the match. “I never thought it would last so long,” she said. “I was getting getting a little bit tired. But I could have stayed out there if I had to.” The 18 games in the final set was the most in a women’s final here since 1956, when Althea Gibson beat Angela Mortimer 6-0, 12-10. The 35 total games was one short of the record for a French final since the Open era began in 1968. The 36-game mark was set in 1973 when Margaret Court beat Chris Evert 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. Graf paid tribute to Seles’ refusal to give up. “You have seen it in other matches,” she said. “She is definitely a tough one. Even if it’s close, if she’s tired, she is always going for it. That is definitely a big, big quality.” Graf found no satisfaction in her own gutsy performance. “I mean it’s great the way I came back, the way I fought every time,” she said. “I think it was a very good effort, especially being down 5-3 in the third set. But I’m disappointed the way I played when I was leading.” “Every time I gave her those games,” she said. “I didn’t play those points good enough. I didn’t really try like the games before to run everything down and to go for every shot. But it’s difficult if you have to do that all the time.” The crowd was overwhelmingly in Graf’s favor, repeatedly breaking into rhythmic clapping and chants of “Steffi! Steffi!” “I really can’t say that I have had that support ever before,” Graf said. “It was just amazing.” Seles controlled the first set, winning 12 out the first 14 points. Graf started to raise the level of her play at the end of the first set, even breaking Seles at love in one game. The German seemed to get a psychological boost early in the second set when she saved a break point to prevent Seles from taking a 2-0 lead. Graf gained the edge when she broke for 4-3. She saved three break points to hold for 5-3, then broke Seles at love to win the set. Seles didn’t even bother to chase Graf’s forehand winner on set point. Seles was up a service break at 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3 in the final set. Then came the four match points on Graf’s serve. She erased the first with a deep forehand, the second with a forehand putaway, the third with a forehand into the corner, and the fourth with a skidding slice backhand approach shot. “I said to myself, ‘Just go for it,’” Graf said. “On those points I really didn’t give her a lot of chances. I was trying to be the one who is aggressive.” “Steffi played some great shots under pressure and I played too safe,” Seles said. Seles served for the match in the next game, but Graf kept dictating the points with her big forehand and broke at 15 to even the set at 5-5. The two continued on serve until Seles broke for an 8-7 lead as Graf missed on a short forehand. But Graf broke right back, hitting a perfect backhand drop shot on one point. In the next game, Seles crushed a short crosscourt backhand after a long rally to break for a 9-8 lead. Serving for the match for the third time, Seles went up 40-15. On match point No. 5, Graf responded by ripping a clean forehand winner. But on the sixth, she pounded a forehand into the net. “It was totally up and down,” Seles said. “One or two points really decided it.” Seles won $372,896, putting her over the $5 million mark in career earnings. Graf won $186,457......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2020

UP Men s Basketball players stay fighting amidst COVID-19

The whole world of sports has come to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons Men’s Basketball Team (UP MBT) stay fighting. Every member of the team is optimistic that Filipinos and the Philippines will get through the difficult challenges they are facing and are staying positive in words and deeds. Fighting Maroons head coach Bo Perasol has reminded his players to put in the same heart and passion they show in the game into their response to the pandemic, encouraging them to practice teamwork and find ways to help those who are affected by the scourge of the coronavirus. “During these trying times, our “never give up” attitude on court should be evident in how we battle this pandemic together as a team. We are optimistic that we can bounce back and come out stronger. While we face our own personal battles, let’s not forget our fellow Filipinos who are greatly affected by this virus. Let’s do our share, no matter how big or small,” said Perasol. The ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) have prohibited sports-related mass gatherings like training, competitions and tournaments. Holed up in their respective homes, the Maroons still find ways to stay competitive and in shape, both physically and mentally. UAAP Season 82 team captain Noah Webb says they “try our best to stay in shape by doing our workouts at home since we can't go to the gym. Our coaches are always guiding us and giving us programs to follow. It’s also very important for us to stay mentally tough since this is a different opponent we are facing.” UP MBT team manager Atty. Agaton Uvero said it is also important for the team and the players to be resilient since a lot of things will change and new protocols will be implemented even after the ECQ is lifted. “Our primary concern will always be the safety of each and every one. But we will stay committed to keeping the team intact so we can still give our best performance with or without games in the near future,” Atty. Uvero said. He reiterated his gratitude to all the team’s fans, supporters, and sponsors who continue to support the Fighting Maroons and their various initiatives. “We will always stay thankful to our fans who never tire of supporting us whether we are in active competition or not. And we will always be indebted to our partners and sponsors -- Robinsons Retail Group, STATS Performance Apparel, Palawan Express Pera Padala, and PayMaya -- for remaining committed to the team despite difficult times like these. Their support and their various efforts to provide assistance and relief to the frontliners and those most affected by the ECQ inspire us and buoy up our spirits,” Atty. Uvero added.   UPMBT players and alumni along with various UP teams and organizations sprang to action soon after the ECQ was declared. They initiated efforts to provide frontliners with necessary items like personal protective equipment (PPEs) and meals. They also reached out to affected communities with rice and other daily necessities.   Among those who raised funds and donated in kind are Fighting Maroons Paul Desiderio, Jett Manuel, Ricci Rivero, Diego Dario, Kyles Lao, Jarrell Lim, Ibrahim Ouattara, Jaybie Mantilla, and the Gomez de Liaño brothers, Joe, Javi, and Juan. NowheretogobutUP Foundation, the UP College of Human Kinetics (CHK), and the Salamat PH Healthcare Heroes also conducted fundraisers to help the frontliners, stranded UP students and staff, and various communities.   “There is so much uncertainty right now and these are extremely difficult times for many Filipinos. That’s why this is the time to be one with our people as we all go through these hardships together. Let’s all do our share in helping one another. Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. The goal of resilience is to thrive,” said NowheretogobutUP Foundation founding chairman Renan Dalisay......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2020

Single game scoring sensations in UAAP women’s volleyball (Final Four era)

Scorers are aplenty in UAAP women’s volleyball. All teams have players who can bring in the numbers on the offensive end. Powerful wingers can pound missile after missile while middles can wreak havoc at the net either on quick attacks or kill blocks. Setters, if lucky, can put in points on top of their playmaking. But there are those who showed their great offensive prowess and carved their names in the record books.      Here are the players who scored 30 or more points in a single game in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament in during the past two decades.   ANGELA BENTING, ADAMSON UNIVERSITY She may not be the tallest of players on the Adamson University Lady Falcons side but Angela Benting can soar and score at any given time. Eleven years ago, Benting displayed her best scoring performance for the Lady Falcons in an epic match against an equally dangerous University of Sto. Tomas side. In UAAP Season 71, the Benting-led Lady Falcons faced the Tigresses in an all-important match at the close of the elimination round. The Lady Falcons needed a win to secure the no. 3 spot in the Final Four. Adamson with Benting at the helm drew first blood. But the Tigresses rallied in the succeeding sets just as Benting was then pouring on the points for Adamson. The Lady Falcon eventually ended up with then a league-best 33 points, but all of Benting's efforts went down the drain as the Tigresses walked away with a 22-25, 25-16, 27-25, 25-23 win. While Benting was doing her thing for Adamson, Aiza Maizo was working on hers for the Tigresses as the lefty unleashed 30 points in an exciting scoring showdown that Valentine’s Day in 2009 at The Arena in San Juan.    It was a heartbreaking loss for the Lady Falcons as they closed the elims tied with UST at 9-5 slate and were dragged to a playoff for Final Four place. The Tigresses eventually won the rematch for no. 3 spot. Unfortunately, neither team advanced to the Finals as then Rachel Anne Daquis-led defending champion Far Eastern University and Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University, who was coming off a scandalous forfeiture of games the year before, figured in the battle for the crown.     AIZA MAIZO, UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS Aiza Maizo eventually reset her UAAP personal-best two seasons later after a memorable showing against Adamson University by opening Season 73 with a bang. Pitted against Ateneo de Manila University’s Fab Five, Maizo uncorked a 32-point explosion to lead UST to victory in a five-set thriller, 25-13, 18-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13, on No. 27, 2010. Maizo shouldered the scoring chores for the then reigning champions Tigresses as she fired 29 off 83 attacks with three kill blocks in the match that lasted for two hours and 20 minutes. Maizo started in all sets. The Queen Tigress, whose closest back-up in points was Maru Banaticla with 12 markers, also played an all-around game with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions.   However, UST eventually lost its hold of the throne that season when DLSU reclaimed the title.     ALYSSA VALDEZ, ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY     Angela Benting’s four-year scoring record was broken by a then-sophomore Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo. The 1,784-strong crowd inside the The Arena in San Juan witnessed history unfold as Valdez exploded for 35 points in match against Adamson U. Out of her 35 points, Valdez hammered down 31 off attacks in 80 attempts. She added three kill blocks of the Lady Eagles’ 10 denials and landed an ace. Valdez also had six digs. But her feat wasn’t enough to save Ateneo as the Lady Falcons walked away with a five-set 22-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 10-15, in their Season 75 start of second round eliminations meeting last January 20, 2013. However, Valdez’s scoring record would remain as the women’s benchmark in production to this day. The Queen Eagle would again breach the 30-point mark as she finished a point shy of the duplicating her personal and UAAP record in a five-set win over archrival DLSU in Season 78 Finals Game 2 that forced a series decider. The then graduating Valdez, with their three-peat bid at stake, poured 34 points to breathe new life to Ateneo, which survived 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11, in a grueling two-hour, eight-minute encounter witnessed by 20,126 people inside the MOA Arena on April 27, 2016.      Valdez pounded 32 attack points off 76 attempts in a heroic stand for the Lady Eagles, who unfortunately surrendered the crown in Game 3. Valdez would eventually break her career-high with 39 points in an 18-25, 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9 win over the Laoag Power Smashers while playing for Bureau of Customs in the defunct V-League on Oct. 5, 2016.   SISI RONDINA, UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS Sisi Rondina never got the chance to display her full potential in her first year with UST, taking a back seat in indoor volleyball behind another freshman in EJ Laure in Season 77. She finally got her chance to shine under then new head coach Kungfu Reyes in Season 78 as a starter for the Tigresses. Rondina reintroduced herself with an inspired performance as she fired 30 points in UST’s season-opener on Febuary 3, 2016. The Cebu pride displayed crisp attacking with 25 kills off 55 attempts and added three aces and a pair of kill blocks. But it wasn’t enough as UST bowed to Adamson U, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 30-28, 14-16, and came two points short of tying Aiza Maizo’s team record in points. Lady Falcon Jema Galanza was two points shy of reaching the 30-point mark. Three years after her 30-point game, Rondina surpassed her career-best and became the Tigresses’ top scorer in a single game when she pumped in a league-best-tying 35 points in a five-set game against Ateneo on March 20, 2019. Rondina pounded away as she scattered 30 kills in 102 tries and had three kill blocks and a pair of aces in a sorry 25-19, 25-22, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11, defeat. While Rondina equaled Valdez’s scoring record, Lady Eagle Maddie Madayag wrote a new standard in kill blocks with 11 erasing the nine denials established by DLSU’s Celine Hernandez in 2008.   TOTS CARLOS, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES Power-hitter Tots Carlos tied Aiza Maizo’s scoring feat when the University of the Philippines star dropped 32 points against the Sisi Rondina-led Tigresses. With the then Lady Maroons struggling to climb the ladder in the first round of Season 80 and limping from a four-game slide, Carlos took matters into her own hands. The then third year player blasted 27 attack points off 64 tries and added three kill blocks and landed two aces in UP’s 31-33, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12, win over UST on February 28, 2018. The win stopped the Lady Maroons’ bleeding but UP for the second straight year eventually bowed out of the race for a Final Four slot. However, Carlos’ career-high production put her on top of UP’s single-game scoring list.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

Japan welcomes Olympic flame as doubts swirl over Games

Tokyo (AFP) – The Olympic flame arrives in Japan on Friday, with what should have been a joyous celebration dramatically downscaled as doubts grow over whether the Tokyo Games can go ahead during the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers have already taken the “heartbreaking” decision to pare back events surrounding the torch relay, as the world battles […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Lady Blazers out to formalize semis entry

Undefeated College of St. Benilde sets its eyes on the first Final Four seat when the well-rested Lady Blazers face Jose Rizal University on Friday in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.   Sporting a pristine 6-0 win-loss record, CSB is just a win away from taking a spot in semifinals. The Taft-based squad is the only unbeaten team in the field and is looking to remain one when the Lady Blazers march back into action at 12:00 noon in the battle that will air via iWant. CSB knocked out San Beda University in four sets last week before its much needed ceasefire. Refreshed and rejuvenated, the Lady Blazers behind veterans Klarisa Abriam and Jade Gentapa with prized recruits Gayle Pascual and Mycah Go are tipped as favorites against the Lady Bombers, who are in desperate need of wins. Carrying a 3-4 slate, JRU is still in the race for a semis berth but must win all of its remaining games and hope for tie at the no. 4 spot at the end of the elims to force playoff for the last Final Four ride. The Lady Bombers are on a two-game winning streak. Meanwhile, University of Perpetual Help shoots for at least a playoff for a Final Four spot at 2:00 p.m. against San Beda University. The Lady Altas, who are on a five-game win streak, are at third spot with a 5-1 slate while the Lady Red Spikers carry a 4-2 mark at fourth. In the men’s division, two-time defending champion Perpetual guns to join another unbeaten team Emilio Aguinaldo College in the semifinals when it battles San Beda University at 3:30 p.m. The Altas fashion a 6-0 mark behind the Generals (7-0) while the Red Spikers are tied with Mapua University at 3-3. At 10:00 a.m. the Blazers (4-2) face the Heavy Bombers (1-6). In juniors’ play, six-peat-seeking Perpetual tries to get back on the winning track (5-1) when it battles San Beda (4-2) at 5:00 p.m. while at 8:30 a.m. CSB-La Salle Greenhills (0-6) meet JRU (0-7).   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2020

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

Manny Pacquiao’s return to glory highlights Boxing in 2019

Apart from basketball and football, arguably no other sport dominates the global headlines quite like ‘The Sweet Science’. Such was the case once again in 2019, as the sport provided some pretty big stories, including a couple of returns to glory, some continued dominance, and even a pretty epic upset. Here are some of boxing’s biggest hits in 2019:   Manny’s Back! Well, okay, maybe it wouldn’t be right to say that he’s in his prime, but Manny Pacquiao definitely showed that in 2019, he can still hang with the best. The 41-year old eight-division world champion showed just that at the start of the year when he dominated Adrien Broner in Las Vegas to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship. Then, just six months later, Pacquiao did even better by dethroning the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship. With Pacquiao’s recent resurgence, so to speak, more and more possible big money bouts are being discussed, but the whispers that continue to be prevalent are those of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. While ‘Money’ remains retired, he’s done more than enough to continuously fan the flames of a potential rematch, and 2020 could finally be the year that it becomes a reality. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see.   Donnie Nietes vacates WBO title From one Filipino boxing great, we jump to another, as Donnie Nietes made headlines early in the year, and then was pretty much never heard from for the rest of 2019. After defeating Kazuto Ioka to become the WBO Super Flyweight World Champion in the very final day of 2018, Nietes was once again a world champion and seemed to be in for another dominant year as one of the division’s top dogs. In a surprise move however, Nietes decided to vacate the title in March, without even defending it, citing his desire for bouts against big-name opponents in the division. With Nietes vacating the title, it set up a title bout against then-mandatory challenger Aston Palicte and Kazuto Ioka, with Ioka ultimately winning and taking the WBO title. As for Nietes, the longest-reining Filipino boxing, who last fought on December 31, 2018, he will go more than a year without competing for the first time in his storied career. Hopefully, 2020 features the long-awaited return of “Ahas”.   The dominance continues for Lomachenko, Crawford, Canelo, and Ancajas Some won titles, others vacated, and others just remained on top. This was the case for the likes of Vasily Lomachenko, Terrence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez, and our very own Jerwin Ancajas. 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Loma, who only had two bouts to his name. The Ukrainian boxing machine KOd Anthony Crolla in April to retain the WBA super and WBO World Lightweight World Championships. In August, Lomachencko defeated Luke Campbell via Unanimous Decision to retain his titles and win the vacant WBC World Lightweight Championship. “Bud” Crawford also had himself a two-fight year in 2019. In April, Crawford faced Amir Khan in a highly-anticipated bout, and ended up scoring a sixth-round TKO to retain his WBO World Welterweight crown. In mid-December, Crawford scored another TKO win to defend his title, this time against Egidijus Kavaliauskas Canelo Alvarez meanwhile, became a four-division world champion in 2019 after going up to light heavyweight and dispatching Sergey Kovalev in 11 rounds to capture the WBO title. This was after he opened the year with an impressive 12-round win over Daniel Jacobs to retain the WBC, WBA super and IBF Middleweight World Championships. Our very own IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas also had a good year, defeating Ryuichi Funai and Miguel Gonzales en route to eight successful world title defenses.   Andy Ruiz Jr. shocks the world In recent years, boxing’s heavyweight division belonged to the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua. That all changed when Joshua saw himself fall victim to the biggest boxing upset of the year. Following a failed drug test from his initial challenger Jared Miller, Joshua was matched up with Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr, who many didn’t take seriously due to his less than impressive physique. Ruiz quickly silenced the naysayers by using his speed and power to drop Joshua four times, twice in what would be the final seventh round, to shock the world and capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight World Championships. Ruiz also became the first Mexican heavyweight world champion in boxing history. In the rematch however, Joshua bounced right back and dominated Ruiz across 12 rounds to reclaim the titles. Part 3 could be something to watch out for this 2020.   Nonito Doniare Jr. and Naoya Inoue put on a war Many expected it to be a quick affair, but the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Finale between Nonito Donaire Jr. and Naoya Inoue ended up becoming a 12-round classic, worth of Fight of the Year honors. Donaire Jr. and Inoue both earned their spots in the tournament finale, but judging from their prior performances, it looked like ‘The Monster’ Inoue was set to make quick work of an aging, presumed-to-be-past-his-prime Donaire Jr. “The Filipino Flash” instead gave Inoue the fight of his life, putting the pressure on the Japanese star like no one else before has been able to do. Unfortunately for Donaire, the younger Inoue simply had more in the tank left, as he was able to grind out a Unanimous Decision win, but it was clearly the hardest win he had ever had. For Donaire’s part, his impressive performance in the loss earned him a mandatory challenger spot against WBC Bantamweight World Champion Nordine Oubaali in 2020.   Amatuer stars Eumir Marcial and Nesthy Petecio shine on the world stage and in the SEA Games It wasn’t just the Pinoy pros that had their time in the spotlight, as a pair of amateur pugs also made headlines in 2019. Filipino middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial finished with silver in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Russia and then finished the year with a dominant run in the 2019 SEA Games, stopping both his opponents en route to a gold medal. Nesthy Petecio meanwhile, became a world champion after capturing gold in the 2019 AIBA Women’s Boxing World Championships, also in Russia. Petecio’s win earned her a spot as the torchbearer in the 2019 SEA Games, lighting the cauldron alongside Pinoy boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Petecio also captured gold in the SEA Games tournaments.   Quadro Alas becomes a three-division champion For a while, it looked like Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero was done. After an uninspired loss to Jonas Sultan in a super flyweight title eliminator, Casimero steadily got back on track and picked up win after win until he was suddenly a titleholder again, winning the WBO Interim Bantamweight World Championship in April. After a successful defense of the interim belt, Casimero became the mandatory challenger to reigning WBO World Champion Zolani Tete. Tete was coming into that fight as the heavy favorite, riding a 12-fight winning streak which included three successful title defenses. Casimero halted the Tete hype train with a third-round TKO win to once again become a world champion, his third in as many weight divisions. With the win, Casimero now sets his sights on a possible super-fight against Naoya Inoue in 2020......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2019

Mitchell s big 2nd half stymies Blazers rally in Jazz win

By Matthew Coles, Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 28 of his 35 points in the second half to power the Utah Jazz to a 121-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Rudy Gobert, who had 16 points and 15 rebounds, forced Carmelo Anthony into an air ball with 22.4 seconds remaining and blocked Damon Lillard’s driving shot with 5.2 seconds left to quell the Trail Blazers’ furious fourth-quarter rally. Lillard scored 34 points, including a pair of 30-foot contested 3-pointers in the final minutes, and CJ McCollum tallied 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Blazers (14-18), who have dropped two straight after winning four in a row. McCollum, who struggled with his accuracy all night, finally made a jumper to cap a 10-0 Portland spurt to draw within 100-93 with 7:23 to play. Gobert made a basket and a free throw, but McCollum scored five more points in a 7-0 run to trim the lead to 103-102. But Mitchell seemed to have an answer for every improbable Blazer shot down the stretch. The Jazz (19-12), who have won six of the last seven games, took their largest lead at 86-63 after Gobert’s push shot in the lane. Lillard scored eight straight points but Mitchell wouldn’t let Lillard go on one of his epic runs without a response. Mitchell scored 10 points in the final 1:29 of the third quarter to boost the Jazz lead back to 20. The Jazz guard was 5-for-5 from the field and 5-for-6 and had 16 points in the period. Joe Ingles, who has been thriving in the starting lineup, scored 26 points a game after tying his career high of 27. He made his first six shots and already had 14 points when the Trail Blazers were stuck on 10. Often prodded by his teammates to shoot more, he danced around multiple screens on the perimeter and was continually left open. The Australian sharpshooter has scored 13 or more in seven straight games after averaging less than eight points a game before that point. Cleveland traded Jordan Clarkson to the Jazz for guard Dante Exum and two future second-round draft picks on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Hours after passing his physical, Clarkson checked in with 4:05 left in first quarter and made a pull-up jumper off the dribble, a minute later. That’s not a shot Jazz fans have seen Exum take. He got nine attempts in his 11-minute stint and scored 9 points but missed all three of shots in the second half. The 27-year-old Clarkson averaged 14.6 points per game this season and is tasked to bring punch to Utah’s anemic second unit. In his final game for the Cavaliers, Clarkson scored a season-high 33 points to lead Cleveland over Memphis. Exum, the No. 5 overall pick in 2014, didn’t play in his last six games. TIP-INS Trail Blazers: Lillard, who missed all 10 3-point attempts in Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) loss to New Orleans, made three 3s by halftime and had 17 points. ... Portland outscored Utah 26-7 in the first 7:20 of the fourth quarter. ... Both Anthony and Royce O’Neale committed in-bound fouls in the final 18 seconds resulting in a free throw and the ball. Jazz: Ingles was so hot to start the game, he let the Trail Blazers know it and was hit with a taunting technical. ... Mike Conley missed five games with a sore hamstring. He then re-injured it in his first game back and has missed four more games. ... The Jazz waived Jeff Green on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and signed Rayjon Tucker from the Milwaukee Bucks’ G-League affiliate. Tucker didn’t play Thursday (Friday, PHL time). UP NEXT The Trail Blazers host the Los Angeles on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). The Jazz visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2019

Pinoy Basketball in 2019: High, low, and then High again

Another year, another time when basketball literally did not stop in the Philippines. There was a lot to see when it came to Pinoy hoops in 2019, as if everyone was trying to make sure to end the decade on a bang. It was definitely a pretty hectic year for Philippine basketball, proving time and again that ball truly is life.   SPIDER-MEN, GRAND SLAMS, AND EPIC TRILOGIES The PBA is technically still not over, with the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup stretching all the way to mid January 2020. The country’s top league for sure had a lot happening, perhaps most infamously being in the 2019 Philippine Cup Finals when a random fan dressed as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man stormed the court late in Game 5 between San Miguel Beer and Magnolia. Safe to say, things got crazy. The other PBA Spider-Man, Arwind Santos, saw his signature dunk banned by the league. He also got fined P200k for hurling racial gestures against an opposing import and is now indefinitely suspended by his own team for fighting against his own import. All that with Peter Parker having his identity revealed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (*spoiler alert*) and it’s just been a pretty wacky year for Spider-Men. San Miguel also tried to win a Grand Slam this year, it looked great too as the Beermen won their second title despite being a no. 7 seed and were undefeated almost halfway through the third conference. But just like this current batch of Beermen’s first Grand Slam attempt, they never really got close as Barangay Ginebra ended the bid in round 1 of the Governors’ Cup. Oh and speaking of the Gin Kings, they’re back in the Governors’ Cup Finals... against Meralco. Oh yes, we’re getting a Trilogy. If that’s not the way to start a whole new decade then we don’t know what is.   HIGH, LOW, AND THEN HIGH AGAIN Switching over to Gilas Pilipinas, the national team was pretty busy this year, which is one of the way reasons why the current PBA season is getting dragged all the way to the next decade. After a gloomy ending in 2018, Gilas showed us where the lights shine brightest by booking a trip to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Gilas overcome freezing weather in Kazakhstan to advance, making sure that the Philippines will be stringing together three straight World Cup appearances. Once Gilas got to China though, it appeared that the national team got blinded by said bright lights. Loss after loss after loss after loss after loss, the Philippines ended up finishing in 32nd place out of 32 teams, setting the Gilas program back a couple of notches. But 2019 will not be a lost year though, as Gilas put together an incredible loaded team to put on a show in the Southeast Asian Games in Manila. Win after win after win after win after win, the Philippines ended up with a 13th straight gold medal in the SEA Games.   FLAMING OUT Fresh from a first ABL title in 2018, San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas was off to a sizzling start for the 2019 season, opening with eight straight wins. The team returned most of its title-winning core from the season prior and added behemoth PJ Ramos as a second import. Even with losses here and there, Alab maintained its number one ranking for most of the year... that is until injuries caught up to the team. Alab flamed out it its title defense, first losing the no. 1 seed to Formosa and then getting swept out of the opening round of the playoffs by Hong Kong Eastern, the team they swept in the semis the year before. Ultimately, Alab lost six straight games on its way to giving up its title. Fortunately, Alab has ended the decade with a four-game run and Jimmy Alapag’s crew is currently tied for first place in the new 2019-2020 season.   BRAND NEW KNIGHTS After a banner first conference, the MPBL quickly expanded to an incredible 26 teams. Following a crazy season with 364 games played, and old MBA dynasty in the San Juan Knights emerged as champions, taking down Davao Occidental in a classic five-game series for the title. The Knights’ title conquest came in the middle of the year and the MPBL is back in action, with 31 teams battling it out in the ongoing Lakan Cup. 2019 saw a ton of basketball games to be played, and 2020 looks like there’s no slowing down in terms of hoops action. Let’s get to it.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

Jaguars fire Coughlin amid 3rd season, following NFLPA shot

By Mark Long, Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars fired top executive Tom Coughlin on Wednesday, parting ways with the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach a little more than a day after the NFL Players Union took a sledgehammer to his reputation. Coughlin served as executive vice president of football operations since 2017. It was his second stint with Jacksonville, the expansion franchise he helped build from the ground up in the mid-1990s. The unbending taskmaster had been in trouble for weeks because of the team's sagging record and several questionable roster moves. The NFLPA seemingly forced Khan's hand after an arbitrator’s decision to undo millions in fines imposed by Coughlin himself. The NFLPA said Monday that more than 25% of player grievances filed in the last two years have been against the Jaguars. The union's take: “You as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club." “I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone’s best interests,” Khan said in a statement. "But, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately. “I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map.” Khan said general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to him on an interim basis. “My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high,” Khan added. The NFLPA grievances are a product of Coughlin’s peccadillos, many of which come from a good place — that of an old-school coach who always believed that football was more than just a business. But the rules that once seemed trifling — no sunglasses, all meetings start 5 minutes early — took a more sinister tone since Coughlin's return. He was still basking in the glow of two Super Bowl titles during his in-between stay as coach of the New York Giants that painted him as a man who had truly changed his ways. He fined defensive end Dante Fowler more than $700,000 in 2018 for missing “mandatory” appointments at the facility during the offseason. Problem was, the appointments weren't really mandatory — a reality cooked into the rule book after some hard-fought wins by the union in collective bargaining about how much time players were obliged to spend at team headquarters in the offseason. Coughlin and the Jaguars have been on the wrong end of other high-profile battles against players — involving running back Leonard Fournette, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and now-retired defensive end Jared Odrick. All involved fines or criticism of players who didn’t act the way Coughlin liked, or failed to show up to voluntary sessions that the old coach always believed weren’t really voluntary. The pushback against Coughlin was as much a sign of the attitudes of players in the late 2010s as it is of their willingness to blindly follow a leader who hadn’t proven himself to them — regardless of whatever message those Super Bowl rings might have delivered. As much as creating a mindset, ultimately, Coughlin was brought back to build a championship roster. In his first year back, it was trending that way, much the same as it was in the late 1990s, when he took the expansion franchise to the AFC title game twice in four years. Led by a smothering defense that Coughlin helped build, Jacksonville fell to New England in the 2017 AFC title game after leading by 10 in the fourth quarter. Since then, however, Coughlin’s moves to try to bridge the gap have looked like massive cases of bad judgement and overreach, the likes of which mired the final four seasons (2000-03) of his first stint with the Jags. The three most notable mistakes came at quarterback: the Jaguars drafted Fournette over Deshaun Watson, gave clearly flawed Blake Bortles a three-year, $54 million contract and then handed $88 million ($50.125 guaranteed) to Nick Foles. There were other problems raging throughout the roster, the locker room and the entire building. Coughlin has developed a rift with coach Doug Marrone over Marrone’s insistence on reducing the intensity and pace of practices at training camp, which came in direct conflict with what Coughlin has preached over his five-plus decades in football. Marrone also wasn't pleased that Coughlin dealt Ramsey, a mercurial-but-talented player who was supposed to be a cornerstone of the franchise, to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this year after multiple flareups between the player and the VP. Meanwhile, assistant coaches grew tired of receiving second-hand guidance that goes right down to the nuts and bolts of game-planning from a man who hasn’t taken much time to get to know them. All of this has turned one of the league’s up-and-coming teams into a loser. The Jaguars have dropped 19 of their last 26 games, 11 of which have come by double digits, and six of those by 20 or more......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2019

SEA Games success a historic feat for PH beach spikers

It was one Southeast Asian Games to remember for the Philippine women's and men's beach volleyball teams.  For eight days, the country's top sand court players put up a valiant stand in front of their home fans at the Subic Tennis Courts. Rallying with the battlecry #Sambansa, their efforts were rewarded.       The women's team of Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez fulfilled their goal of bringing the country back to the podium for the first time in 14 years.     It was a breakthrough for Jude Garcia, Jaron Requinton, Edmar Bonono and James Buytrago, as they gave the Philippines' its first-ever men's beach volleyball medal.              "This has been such a historic feat for Philippine Beach Volleyball and we dedicate this win to our fellow Pinoy athletes who have sacrificed a lot to pursue what they love doing the most. We also dedicate this win to our Philippine Volleyball Community, who has continuously given us the strength and support to power through. Maraming salamat, Pilipinas!," said team manager Charo Soriano. With five victories and gallant efforts in losses against traditional powerhouses Thailand and Indonesia in the single-league competition, the Rebisco-backed Philippines side matched the 2005 bronze medal finish by Fil-Ams Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua.   There's no way for the Filipinas but to go up, not only in the next SEA Games in Vietnam two years from now but also in future international competitions such as FIVB World Tour 1-star tournaments.      "We are so thankful for our sponsor, unang una ang Rebisco. Natupad pangarap namin na makapaglaro ng maayos dahil sa kanila," said Gervacio.  In a tough eight-team men's field, the Filipinos made it to the semifinals for the first time since 2007 behind Parley Tupaz and Rhovyl Verayo.   After bowing to Thailand in the semis, the Philippines nipped Singapore, 2-1, for the bronze medal, as Garcia and Requinton took charge in the golden match.      Following the Christmas holidays, the Philippine sand court standouts will immediately resume training as they prepare for tough battles in domestic and the FIVB World Tour 1-star tournament this May.        For more updates about the Philippine beach volleyball team, please check its social media accounts @pilipinasbeachvolleyball on Instagram and Facebook, and @phbeachvolley on Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

SEA Games: PHI volleyball squads to join opening parade

The Philippine men’s and women’s volleyball teams are stoked for their participation in the traditional parade of nations in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Men’s team skipper John Vic De Guzman is looking forward to joining the spectacle at the Philippine Arena on Saturday when all 11 participating countries march with their respective banners as part of the festivities to kick off the biennial meet hostilities.      “Sobrang excited, this will be my third SEA Games pero this will be my first time to be in the opening parade,” said De Guzman, who has donned the tricolors since the 2015 Singapore edition when the country participated in volleyball after a 10-year hiatus.  Unlike the women’s team that joined the parade in 2015 with Alyssa Valdez as flagbearer, the men’s squad will make its debut in the highlight of the opening event. The men's national team will be wearing Barongs created by renowned designer Francis Libiran during the parade of nations in the 30th Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.   “Actually buong men’s volleyball team, first time [sumama sa parade],” said De Guzman. “Noong 2015, late kami umalis pa-Singapore, and 2017 [Kuala Lumpur] hindi kami umabot sa opening kasi same day ang flight namin. So kung gaano ka-excited? SOBRANG EXCITED! Kasi walang kasing saya na lumakad siguro doon sa harap mismo ng mga Pilipinong ipaglalaban namin dito pa mismo sa Pilipinas.” “Pare-pareho kaming first timer sa parada kaya sigurado akong tatatak ng husto sa aming mga puso ang experience na ito,” added De Guzman. Top hitter Marck Espejo shares the same feeling. “Sa akin po, siyempre sobrang excited kasi nga noong first SEA Games ko napanood namin 'yung mga babae kasama sa Singapore nag-parade,” Espejo said. “So parang ang saya lalo na maraming tao, lalo na sa Philippines 'yung SEA Games. And sobrang excited talaga parang gusto ko maglakad sa oval habang napapagiliran ng maraming tao tapos kasama 'yung ibang delegations din.” For men’s head coach Dante Alinsunurin walking with the country’s delegation in front a huge, cheering crowd has always been his dream. Something that he and women’s head coach Shaq Delos Santos didn’t get a chance to experience back when they were playing for the national team. “Ako gusto kong ma-experience kasi noong naglaro ako laging nakahiwalay ang SEA Games [opening ceremony]. Nu’ng sa Vietnam nasa probinsya kami, tapos nitong dito ang [2005] SEA Games nasa Bacolod kami,” he said. “Iba yung feeling na pumaparada ka, makikita mo ang opening. Parang doon pa lang mararamdaman mo talaga na nasa SEA Games na.” Women’s squad team captain Aby Marano along with Valdez and veterans Jia Morado, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rhea Dimaculangan are on their second run in the parade of nations. “Excited ako this time kasi last na SEA Games namin hindi kami nakapunta sa opening,” said Marano, who is on her third SEA Games stint. “’Yung unang opening ceremony na napuntahan ko is SEAGAMES sa Singapore grabe ang ganda ng program. Goosebumps all the way sa pagkaka-orchestrate nila ng opening sobrang galing na amaze ako sa presentation nila. Napakagarbo feeling ko nga nasa Olympics ako nun eh.” Marano is also excited to see what the organizers of this Games have in store for the audience and the guests. “Kaya excited ako this time kasi dito sa Pilipinas gaganapin,” she said. “Gusto ko makita kung papaano maibabahagi ang kulturang Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng opening ceremony na yan.” Team Philippines will be wearing the creation of renowned fashion designer Francis Libiran.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

Unforgettable UAAP Final Four Moments

A Final Four in any of the UAAP seasons in the last 26 years has always been memorable and epic. Since Season 56, the format has intensified the competitiveness in the league, as it has since given four teams the chance at a championship, instead of just two teams in the 55 seasons prior. Here we witnessed dramatic, climactic face-offs between the first and fourth placers, and the second and third placers, with the top two teams enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage. This is to determine who will slug it out in the Finals. Yet there are rare instances when a school tops the eliminations unscathed, just like this year’s mighty Ateneo Blue Eagles, who advanced to the Finals outright after sweeping the round. In this case, a stepladder Final Four is implemented wherein the third and fourth battle each other in a do-or-die match before facing the second placer, which has a twice-to-beat advantage. And yes, these teams have made their playoff wars exciting and spectacular with a level of play that is truly exceptional. Here are some of the most powerful, controversial, heroic, and reverberating moments in the UAAP Final Four that have been forever etched in our minds:   1) UP enters Finals for first time in 32 years in Season 81 In their first Final Four appearance in 21 years, the UP Fighting Maroons had the utmost desire to make history once more with the battlecry “Atin ‘To,” captain Paul Desiderio’s famous call to arms.  And, in Season 81, barreling into the semifinals was already a gigantic feat, having been in the cellar for quite a while in the UAAP.  But they wanted more, and facing a championship-ready Adamson Soaring Falcons was an immense challenge with its lean and mean arsenal, given how the San Marcelino cagers had waylaid the competition in the eliminations, including the defending champions Ateneo. But they were unfazed with Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, and in Game 1, they would beat the odds, as the Fighting Maroons and the Soaring Falcons ended up tied at 71-all with three seconds to go. As Juan Gomez de Liano was inbounding, he found an open Bright Akhuetie near the basket to convert the game-winner for UP to arrange a winner-take-all.  And in the decider, it was again a tedious trek for both teams, with the game tied for the last time at 87-all in overtime. Then, the fiery captain will again own it for the Fighting Maroons as he swooshed a jumper off Adamson’s Sean Maganti with 6.6 seconds left. With Falcon guard Jeron Lastimosa missing a three off a timeout as time ran out led to utter euphoria in the Maroon-dominated Araneta Coliseum, spilling out to the numerous UP campuses across the nation, as the Fighting Maroons entered the Finals for the first time in 32 years. They would be denied a repeat of their 1986 title run however by the back-to-back champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, which won the Finals convincingly.   2) Blue Eagle Gec Chia’s miracle “shot” in Season 65 Season 65 was certainly the most unforgettable for the Ateneo Blue Eagles as it achieved a flurry of milestones. Already with a well-developed line-up and the immense motivation to win it all, after their previous heartbreaking campaigns, the Eagles had beaten the league-leading and four-peat-hunting DLSU Green Archers in the last game of the eliminations, denying them a sweep and an outright finals berth. And in third place at the end of the elims, the Eagles would face another formidable squad, the James Yap and Paul Artadi-enforced second-placers UE Red Warriors. After staging a stunning upset in the first game of their Final Four match-up, 84-78, Ateneo again engaged UE in a close, hard fought decider and both teams were tied at 70-all with 7.8 seconds left.  With LA Tenorio trapped in the offensive play, he would kick the ball out to the gutsy marksman Gec Chia, who would rise to the occasion and soar over a phalanx of defenders to make that miracle “Shot” heard everywhere as time expired. That unforgettable shot pushed the Eagles into that climactic end to a 14-year title drought in the Finals by that Herculean drubbing of La Salle.   3) FEU’s Mac Belo buries last-second corner three against La Salle in Season 77 On October 1, 2014, the defending champions DLSU Green Archers threatened the second placers FEU Tamaraws, with a menacing win in their first match in the Final Four of Season 77, nearing to book another trip to the Finals. In Game Two, with 24 ticks remaining, the Tamaraws used up the remaining seconds with the intent of taking the last shot.  FEU point guard Mike Tolomia then barreled his way through the paint, drawing two La Salle defenders and leaving Mac Belo free at the corner. With a little over two seconds to go, Tolomia would hand the ball off to Belo for a catch-and-shoot beyond the arc at the right corner and buried the three as time expired, giving the Tamaraws a return trip to the Finals. They would, however, eventually lose to a gritty NU Bulldogs, which won their first title in 60 years.   4) FEU eliminates Ateneo with Mac Belo’s follow up buzzer beater in Season 78 In Season 78, the FEU Tamaraws would most certainly want another crack at the title, after losing to NU the previous year. And they were really scorching hot in the eliminations, ending up tied with the UST Growling Tigers at the top of the heap, but dropped to second place due to a lower quotient. In the Final Four, they would face the third placers Ateneo Blue Eagles with a twice-to-beat advantage. On November 21, 2015, the FEU and Ateneo were stuck in a really close game with Roger Pogoy waxing hot for the Tams, and Kiefer Ravena leading all departments for the Eagles. With ten seconds to go, Adrian Wong of Ateneo streaked for a layup after a Richard Escoto miss. Wong’s daredevil shot was deflected and the ball ended up in the hands of Mike Tolomia, who rushed back to the FEU side of the court for the final shot. He would make a gallant incursion with a near acrobatic layup with one second to go. And as the ball rimmed out, a well-positioned Mac Belo was below the basket for the quick, buzzer beating putback that once more sent the Tamaraws to the Finals. FEU would then claim their 20th title overall over the UST Growling Tigers in the Finals.   5) FEU's Miko Roldan hits game-winner against Ateneo in Season 63  Mac Belo breaking the hearts of Ateneans with that buzzer beater in Season 78 was like history repeating itself. Fifteen years earlier, the Tamaraws, led by Celino Cruz and Edwin Bacani, also engaged the Blue Eagles to a Final Four battle, with Ateneo having that twice-to-beat privilege.  Led by Rich Alvarez, LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier, the Blue Eagles were really soaring to get that elusive title it last won in 1988. And in the first game in the Final Four, people were expecting the Blue Eagles to cruise past FEU, having beaten them twice in the elims.  But the Tamaraws really gave them a hell of a match. As Andrew Cruz flubbed two charities in the dying seconds that should have given the Blue Eagles a comfortable three-point lead, FEU gunner Miko Roldan sank a semi-hook shot at the buzzer in the ensuing play to break the hearts of Ateneans everywhere and extend the series, 61-60. In the decider, Cruz and Bacani would conspire for 39 points to complete a monster upset, 75-67, and reach the Finals. The defending champions DLSU Green Archers, led by the legendary Renren Ritualo, was just too much for the Tams in the Finals and copped their three-peat.   6) Fight-marred Ateneo-La Salle Final Four series in Season 66 Joseph Yeo was all over the court in a scoring binge while Rookie-of-the-Year JVee Casio showed a glimpse of being a clutch player as the DLSU Green Archers, the fourth seed, took their storied rivalry with defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, the top seed, to a tenacious, heated Final Four war. Heightened emotions were at play since Ateneo’s colossal Finals victory the previous season, and the animosity between the two ballclubs was at its fiercest and most intense. In Game 1, after La Salle’s Jerwin Gaco’s putback sent the game into overtime, the extended play’s physicality went to overdrive. With 1:31 left in overtime, Gaco bumped LA Tenorio in the battle for the loose ball. Tenorio would then sneak a punch at Gaco, who then nudged the Ateneo guard. This led to a bench-clearing brawl, as players punched, kicked and shoved each other while the coaches tried to break up the fight even as referees whistled repeatedly.  La Salle’s Ryan Arana kicked Ateneo’s Wesley Gonzales from behind and the league meted the Archer with a one-game suspension. Also suspended were Tenorio and fellow Blue Eagle Christian "Badjie" del Rosario. The Archers would prevail after the five-minute extension, 76-72. The decider was also as heated with on-court and off-court flare-ups and violent confrontations between players and supporters. Ateneo’s steady offense, however, prevailed in the final minute, as the Blue Eagles hung on to 74-68 victory, entering the Finals for the second straight year. FEU, however, would deny Ateneo a back-to-back run, winning the championship in two games.   7) UST trounces NU twice to become first fourth placer to eliminate the top-seed in a Final Four series in Season 76 The NU Bulldogs were on a roll, and 2013 seemed to be their year, with Bobby Ray Parks returning after back-to-back MVP seasons and leading them to reach the top of the standings at the end of eliminations. But they have their Achilles heel—the dribblers of Espana—who have exerted their mastery of the Bulldogs, winning twice in the elims. And bad news for the Bulldogs, they would meet the UST Growling Tigers, which ended at fourth place, in the Final Four.  In Game 1, a red-hot Kevin Ferrer would lead UST to its biggest margin of 18 within the match, but they needed to fend off NU’s late charge, 71-62, to force a rubber match. And in the winner-take-all, UST completed its mastery of top-ranked Bulldogs, again with a game-long dominance to end at 76-69, marking the first time a fourth seed would snatch a Finals berth from a first-placer in the league.   8) NU’s Alfred Aroga’s monster block on Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena in Season 77 After a frustrating loss to UST in the Season 76 Final Four, NU would get another crack at gaining that elusive Finals appearance. But in the next chapter of the semifinals, NU will hope for a Cinderella finish to gain that berth, trying to beat the top placers Ateneo Blue Eagles, just like what UST did to them in the previous year when they were the top-seed. Jay-Jay Alejandrino and Troy Rosario led NU’s surge in the fourth quarter of the first game to spoil Ateneo’s twice to beat to force a deciding game. In the rubber match, no clear advantage was evident in the majority of the game. But after NU’s Gelo Alolino broke a 63-all tie with two charities off a foul from Ateneo’s Nico Elorde, 65-63, Kiefer Ravena would try to send the game to overtime with a drive against several NU defenders with three seconds left.  He failed however after NU’s Alfred Aroga swatted his attempt as time expired—a monster block that brought NU to its first finals appearance in 44 years. The Bulldogs would then wallop the FEU Tamaraws in the Finals, 2-1, to clinch their first title in 60 years. 9) Coming out party of UE’s Paul Lee in Season 72 The UE Red Warriors had come off from a heartbreaking Finals loss to the DLSU Green Archers in Season 70 after sweeping the eliminations, and another hurtful exit the succeeding year with a Final Four defeat at the hands of the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The Red Warriors would then make another trip to the Final Four in Season 72, which was the coming out party of prolific scorer Paul Lee, as the league’s third best after the eliminations. UE would battle second placers FEU for the chance to enter the Finals once more after the Season 70 debacle. They extended the series after Lee led a late game spurt with three consecutive three-pointers in a devastating 18-5 run, he would end up with a game-high 26 points. In the rubber match, with UE trailing FEU in the first half, the Red Warriors would make an explosive comeback in the second half and would again rely on the dependable Lee and Pari Llagas for their late-game heroics. Llagas would lift UE up for good with two straight field goals, 72-70, while Lee showed nerves of steel as he sank four consecutive free throws at the end of the game, 78-72, to give UE their Finals ticket. UE, however, would bow to powerhouse Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Finals in three games.   10) UST’s Jojo Duncil completes winning three-point play that frustrated UE in Season 69 By this time, the UE Red Warriors were in their fifth straight Final Four appearance. And in Season 69, UE would land at second place after the eliminations behind Ateneo, relishing its twice-to-beat advantage.  In the Final Four, UE would face a determined UST Growling Tigers, who were seeking redemption after last winning the championship in 1996, the last year of their 90s four-peat dynasty. UST would eke out a hard-earned Game 1 victory, 79-75 victory over UE that led to a deciding Game 2. In this clincher, both UST and UE kept the match close.  And in the final quarter, with the score tied at 79-all in the dying seconds, Growling Tiger Jojo Duncil converted on a tip-in, and-1, after a previous miss and teammate Jervy Cruz’s failed putback. Duncil would then complete the three-point play to give the UST an 82-79 edge, a few seconds left. UE’s Marcy Arellano would drive unmolested for an easy two to cut the lead to a solitary point, 82-81, nearing the end of the game. After UST committed a turnover, the Red Warriors had the chance to drop the game-winner but UE’s Jorel Cañizares missed a medium-range jump shot and a follow-up. Teammate Robert Labagala would then grab the rebound, but time ran out on the Recto dribblers. UST entered the Finals and annexed its first UAAP title in 10 years over the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Will there be another unforgettable Final Four moment in this current Season 82? Catch the start of the stepladder Final Four hostilities with the do-or-die match between the UST Growling Tigers and the FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, November 6, for the right to meet the twice-to-beat second placers UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday, November 10......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2019

Fortnite goes offline after asteroid blows up virtual world

NEW YORK, USA – Internet gaming phenomenon Fortnite has temporarily gone offline, leaving millions of addicted gamers wondering what to do with themselves, after a massive asteroid brought the latest season to an end. Epic Games, Fortnite's creators, announced that season ten of the shoot-'em-up survival video game ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 15th, 2019

New-look Clippers ready to level up beyond Best Team in L.A.

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- It was almost exactly a year ago when the Clippers welcomed the media on the same day the Lakers debuted LeBron James, and Patrick Beverley told the half-dozen or so reporters who must’ve made a wrong turn: “We’re the best team in L.A.” That bit of bravado went unnoticed and unheard, partly because of the Laker noise, partly because few -- if anyone -- bought it. Of course, Beverley was ultimately proven wise when the Clippers scrapped their way to 48 wins and a pair of first-round wins against the Warriors while LeBron and the Lakers almost literally collapsed from a kick to the groin. With a swell of attention now being paid to presumptive title favorites, who added Paul George and Kawhi Leonard while retaining much of the supporting cast, Beverley was given the chance Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to double down on his prophecy. He toned it down. “We’ll see,” he said. Yet his sinister grin was plain to see, and it reflected the swagger and internal expectations of a franchise not known for through-the-roof projections. Such is the new world order in Los Angeles, and perhaps the NBA, in 2019-20. These are unprecedented times for the Clippers, who’ve had winning teams before but none with this much title twinkle headed into the season. “We know what we’re capable of doing,” said Beverley, and so does everyone else. You don’t add the reigning NBA Finals MVP and another who finished third in the regular-season Kia MVP balloting without shaking up the establishment, even if you’ve never won a championship in franchise history. But there’s a long wait between now and next spring's playoffs, and a shorter one to see George on the floor. The 29-year-old swingman is still in the mending stage after off-season surgery on both shoulders. He said “I’m not sure” when he’ll be ready to play, even with opening night against the Lakers a little over three weeks away. George said he hasn’t had any complications or setbacks, but won’t engage in any contact work in camp and coach Doc Rivers said George will not appear in any games until he does. “There’s no problems,” George said. “I’m just going to do light work and drills for now.” The other issue as it relates to health is Leonard’s usage. Last year in Toronto, still smarting from a persistent quad injury that led to his stormy exit from the Spurs, Leonard didn’t play on consecutive nights during back-to-back games. Rivers said there are no such restrictions this season, or demands from the player, although the coach wants to reserve the right to monitor and change the approach if necessary. "Last year, I was going in with an injury that I was dealing with the year before, still was lingering, and we knew that I had to be healthy going throughout the season and making it to the playoffs,” Leonard said. "This time, I'm feeling good. I’m feeling way better than I was at the start of last season. There really was no plan laid out to discuss with everyone." Rivers also noted that the Clippers’ depth will allow for rest periods for George and Leonard; both players are joining a team that prospered without an All-Star last season, a team that will probably once again bring reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell off the bench. In due time, the Clippers will be complete, and that’s the most important takeaway from their first official gathering. The level of enthusiasm is “sky-high,” said Williams. Rivers has flexibility with Leonard and George, widely considered among the most elite two-way players in basketball. On offense, George and Leonard are top-10 league scorers (26.6 points last year for Leonard; 28.0 for George). Playing those two alongside Williams, who averaged 20 points last season in just 26 minutes off the bench, should cause matchup headaches. “We’ll force a lot of defenses to make a lot of hard decisions,” said Williams. And the options afforded to Rivers might even be richer on the other end. Rivers thinks pairing two newcomers plus Beverley -- who guarded Kevin Durant in the playoffs, while giving away seven inches -- can be “special.” Utilizing three players who can legitimately guard multiple positions, the Clippers’ defense could be epic, if not historic. George said: “It’s going to be scary … we’ve really got a chance to do something special on the defensive end. Watching Pat get out there and picking somebody up 94 feet, that's going to get me going. It's going to get Kawhi going. It's just going to become contagious on a nightly basis. I honestly think, for the first time, people are going to be excited to watch the defensive end as opposed to watching the offensive end.” The makings of a unique season, then, is on deck for the Clippers. It became realistic when Leonard, fresh off a title in Toronto, chose George and the Clippers over LeBron James and Anthony Davis and the Lakers — which, in itself, seems un-Clipper-like given the club’s former reputation and history, when superstars were once allergic to L.A.’s "other" basketball team. But these are new times. “We actually wanted to be teammates for a long time,” said George. “This was always in the works to happen at some point.” From the top of the organization to the bottom, everyone knows the potential and just the same, would rather allow a scenario to play itself out than speak it into existence. That’s why Beverley provided the most unexpected news of camp by playing it coy. But you knew where he stood. “Can’t wait to get started,” he said, echoing the thoughts of a locker room thinking big. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 30th, 2019

Big-time bouts in NCAA 95 as Beda battles Baste, Letran duels CSB

Games on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre 12:00 p.m. - San Beda vs San Sebastian 2:00 p.m. - CSB vs Letran 4:00 p.m. - Arellano vs Mapua Two games with playoff implications in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament take place in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre floor, Tuesday. First, first-running San Beda University takes on its latest challenge in the form of fourth-running San Sebastian College-Recoletos while third-running Colegio de San Juan de Letran wages war with fifth-running College of St. Benilde. As always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. The Red Lions will be staking their spotless slate through 12 games against the Golden Stags who are nothing but determined to bounce back into the win column at 12:00 p.m. Meanwhile, the Knights are plotting to be the latest team to make sure the Blazers' downward spiral continues at 2:00 p.m. The day will also see a matchup between resurgent Mapua University and dangerous Arellano University at 4:00 p.m. In Jrs. action, the unbeaten San Beda Red Cubs are pitted opposite the streaking San Sebastian Staglets at 8:00 a.m. while the CSB-La Salle Green Hills Jr. Blazers figure in a tough tiff against the Letran Squires at 10:00 a.m. and the Mapua Red Robins hope to breathe some life to their title defense at the expense of the Arellano Braves at 6:00 p.m. For the first time ever, the best and brightest young talent in the country will be on livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2019

Venues to serve Philippine sports beyond SEA Games -- Ramirez

While the economic hubs of Clark and Subic will serve as the main venues for the 30th Southeast Asian Games starting 30 November, Metro Manila will have a fair share of the hosting chores. The historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum, site of many grand sporting battles in the past, will be restored to its old, majestic glory that will treat participants from the 11 SEA Games countries to a feel of the old Philippines, but with all the amenities that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is introducing to the site for the first time. Fund infusion from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is making this possible, said PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, who is also the Chief of Mission of Team Philippines in the SEA Games. “All government agencies are on the same track to making the SEA Games a successful hosting as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte,” Ramirez said. “The PSC is making sure our guests and the athletes will see the best side of the Philippines when they start to visit our venues. We have the various agencies providing us with support, from the Military and the Police, to the Department of Tourism (DoT), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), the whole of the president's Cabinet through Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea, almost all government offices with stake in the project are being utilized by the President.” No major repairs have been done to the three major government-owned venues since the country last hosted the SEA Games in 2005, when the Filipino athletes won the overall championship for the first and last time. “The recent tripartite agreement among the officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) and the PSC also moved forward the preparations,” Ramirez said. “POC President (Abraham) Bambol Tolentino has also galvanized all national sports associations (NSA) into one direction.” The Pagcor, through Chairperson Andrea Domingo, was among the first to provide support to the Games by helping fund the refurbishing of the Philsports Arena in Pasig, and the Rizal Memorial and Ninoy Aquino Stadia in Manila, according to Ramirez. Ramirez, however, said the Rizal Memorial Stadium will not just undergo repairs. He disclosed that the venue built in 1934 and has hosted the Asian Games in 1954 and the SEA Games on three occassions, will be restored to its original look. “The PSC was mandated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to preserve the Rizal Memorial Coliseum to its original form. And we are happy with that because this will be the first time that the Filipinos and our foreign guests will see the venue like it was in the 1930s.” But the coliseum will now be fitted with new seats to follow international standards. It will also become fully airconditioned for the first time in its long history. “The canopy will be removed,” according to Ramirez. “It turned out that it was not there when it hosted the Asian Games before. The color will be the same as it was during the golden era of Art Deco construction that was the design of its architect Juan M. Arellano.” The venue will also be fitted with a new flooring. The PSC, Ramirez said, is now receiving inquiries from the country's top collegiate leagues for their schedules next year. “We are looking at the long term. We do not want these government-owned venues to become idle after the SEA Games. We are confident of bringing back the collegiate leagues to where they used to play before the new private coliseums attracted them out of our venues,” Ramirez said. Refurbishing of the Rizal football field will also start next month. New seats will also be installed at the grandstand as required by the International Football Federation (FIFA). Badminton, speed and figure skating, bowling, billiards, taekwondo, weightlifting, men's football, squash, tennis and soft tennis, gymnastics, kickboxing, boxing, basketball, ice hockey, fencing, karatedo, wushu, indoor volleyball, cycling 3x3 basketball and Esports will be held in different venues in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City and San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2019

PVL: Creamline-ChocoMucho clash highlights this week s PVL action

Defending champion Creamline gets a chance to test the mettle of sister-team ChocoMucho in this week’s marquee match in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. The Cool Smashers remain unbeaten in five outings and will be coming off a one-week rest when they march back into action on Saturday to face the Flying Titans, who will take on the veteran-laden BanKo first on Wednesday before facing Creamline in their pair of heavyweight assignments. The Creamline-ChocoMucho clash is slated at 6:00 p.m. and will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. On Wednesday, the Flying Titans, who are on a two-way tie with Motolite at 2-1 win-loss slate, gets and acid test against the Perlas Spikers, who are looking to improve their 3-2 slate and spark a winning streak at 6:00 p.m. Facing off in the curtain-raiser are Moolite and listless Air Force (0-3) at 2:00 p.m. in a match that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. At 4:00 p.m. unbeaten PacificTown Army guns for its third straight win when it pairs with PetroGazz (1-2). Winless Chef’s Classics (0-4) tries to arrest its slump on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. against BaliPure (1-3) before Creamlin and ChocoMucho take the spotlight. The Lady Troopers and Motolite cap their week with an encounter on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. to be followed by the Angels and Lady Jet Spikers’ bout at 6:00 p.m. In the Collegiate Conference, Ateneo de Manila University eyes its third straight win when it battles San Beda University (1-1) on Saturday at 12:00 noon in Group A action. Group B leader Arellano University (2-0) collides with Far Eastern University (1-1) at 10:00 a.m. while College of St. Benilde (1-1) looks to get back on the winning track also in Group B when it clashes with Lyceum of the Philippines University (0-2) in the 8:00 a.m. curtain-raiser. UAAP powerhouse teams University of Sto. Tomas and Adamson University try to keep their grip of the lead in their respective groups on Sunday. The Tigresses (2-0) take on winless TIP at 10:00 a.m. in Group B while at 12:00 noon the Lady Falcons square off with San Sebastian College (0-2). University of Perpetual Help (1-1) and Letran (0-2) begin the triple-bill playdate at 8:00 a.m. All Collegiate Conference games are available via iWant and livestream.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2019

TERRFIC 12: Blackwater seeks more growth in return to Macau

Asia League has rebranded to the East Asia Super League (EASL) but it’s still set to hold its crowd favorite tournament coming in the next couple of months. The Terrific 12 will return to Macau on September 17-22 and this time, there’s finally a strong Filipino presence for the week-long joust at the Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion. The PBA will send two flagship teams in the San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa. The Blackwater Elite will also make an East Asia Super League return after competing in the Super 8 last year. Blackwater used last year’s Super 8 tournament to prepare for the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup and the Elite immediately saw the fruits of their labor in Macau once they returned to Manila. Falling literally one basket short of a semifinals stint at the Super 8 last year, Blackwater returned to the PBA and got their best finish ever, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Magnolia. The 2019 Terrific 12 presents a new chance for growth once again for the Elite. While the team is yet to make the PBA semifinals, Blackwater has topped their 2018 Governors’ Cup performance by making the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs as the no. 3 seed. Blackwater came four points away from making a breakthrough semifinals stint in the PBA. Having a strong Terrific 12 stint could help unlock the Elite’s potential. Having a strong Terrific 12 stint is one thing but having a successful one is another. Put in Group A, the Elite sure have some decorated opponents in Macau. Japan’s Chiba Jets will play Blackwater inthe Terrific 12 and they are the very first Asia League champions from two years ago. The Jets were the top regular season team in Japan with an impressive 52-8 record and they are fresh from a Finals run in the B.League, losing only to eventual back-to-back champions Alvark Tokyo. Also in Group A are the SK Knights from Seoul, South Korea. While they didn’t exactly fare well in the previous KBL season, the Knights won it all in 2018 and the Terrific 12 looks like the perfect place for to start a comeback in preparation for the next season. The Terrific 12 is a FIBA-recognized basketball tournament and features three clubs from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), four from the B.LEAGUE (Japan), two from the Korean Basketball League (KBL) and three from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). A Group Stage, Semi-Finals and Finals will play out 16 epic games in total to crown this year’s champion.  In the Group Stage, clubs will be divided into four groups of three, with each team playing two games. The top team from each group will advance to compete in the Semi-Finals following a rest day ?on September 20.? The champion will be awarded USD 150,000, the runner- up will be awarded USD 100,000 and third place will be awarded USD 50,000. Blackwater and the SK Knights start the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 with the very first game on Sept. 17 in Macau.  The Elite then take the court once again the next day when the face the Jets.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019