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Fans show support for Red Velvet’s Irene as she apologizes anew for past behavior

Red Velvet’s Irene (Instagram)  K-pop girl group Red Velvet’s leader Irene sent a letter to fans to apologize again for her past behavior and promised that she will “become a more mature person.”  Irene was embroiled in a controversy last October when a stylist-editor Kang Kook-hwa exposed her for rude behavior towards her and said she had a recording of the incident as evidence.  Kang compared Irene to “nut rage” Heather Cho, the Korean Air vice president who went berserk on a company-owned plane in 2014 after she was served nuts in original packaging by a crew member.  “The 20 minutes in the unfamiliar room was like hell. No hellos exchanged, shouting in my face with [her] phone in hand pointing [her] fingers while I stood and [she] sat in a chair, blurting out the words. Tears flooded out of my eyes after listening to the venomous words spewed out by [her] tongue. I just couldn’t help, it just burst out. Why must I be humiliated? For whom? For what? For money?” wrote Kang on Instagram, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.  After Kang made the post, Irene personally apologized to her and also issued an apology on Instagram. The incident prompted a Korean fan community of Red Velvet on DC Inside to demand that Irene should leave the group. In her new apology, which she posted on Jan. 15, Irene wrote, “First of all, I wanted to say that I apologize for causing so much pain and worry to many people because of inadequacy.” She said she started as a trainee at age 19 in 2009 and up to now, being Irene of Red Velvet “has been all of my life.” “I have lived while thinking that I was getting along with the people around me in my own way that I didn’t know that my communication method or expressions could be a problem, and I only thought that each has a different way of communication,” she said.  She added, “I received a lot of concerns and reprimand not only from the public but also from people around me for the past event and this gave me time to quietly reflect on myself.” “As I cannot turn back time, I am making a lot of effort not to go back to the way I used to be. I realized the weight of words and actions, and I will try to become a more mature person,” Irene promised.  Irene added that in the future, as leader and singer of Red Velvet, “I will not only show you a good image, but also as the person Bae Joo-hyun, I will try not to disappoint you.”  “I hope that somebody will no longer be criticized for what happened because of my inadequacy,” she said.  Last December, or two months after the incident, it was reported that Kang was still receiving hate for what happened.  “Please stop bothering me. Don’t threaten me. It’s a crime and costs dearly. She doesn’t want it either. I’m doing silent for her sake. This is my last request. Please and please,” according to a post by Kang uploaded on an online community.  Fans of Red Velvet welcomed Irene’s apology and expressed their support to her.  “Irene you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s normal for people to have mood swings, the case here is because you’re a celebrity,” one fan wrote.  Other messages are “Irene best leader,” “Irene we love you! Cheer up, we will always have your back,” and “Irene unnie you’re the greatest woman of this generation! We love you 3000!!!!”.....»»

Category: newsSource: mb.com.ph mb.com.phJan 17th, 2021

Return of the Mac-killer: Nate Diaz ends hiatus at UFC 241

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The mostly empty arena rumbled with outsized excitement when Nate Diaz stepped onto the stage. The fans erupted into cheers while Diaz lit a joint and took a big drag before doing a little shadowboxing for the cameras. Even before he said a word at his open workout four days before UFC 241, Diaz showed he can captivate an audience like no active fighter in the mixed martial arts world. Fighters can train for almost every skill in the game except charisma, and the Diaz brothers are laden with it. The younger Diaz (19-11) returns from a three-year hiatus on Saturday night, taking on Anthony Pettis in his first bout since his two showdowns with Conor McGregor in 2016. A heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic is the main event, but many fans at Honda Center and around the world will be watching mostly to see what Diaz does next. "I'm here as a businessman and a natural born killer," Diaz said. "I'm here to get the job done, and he's the guy to do it on, so there's no problem. It's all good with me. I'm just here to kill and stay alive for the weekend." Diaz and his older brother, Nick, receive a level of adulation in the MMA world that exceeds even their considerable accomplishments. It's difficult to explain the Diaz appeal to observers who don't have a full historical perspective on the pugnacious, thoughtful brothers' omnipresence in their sport's attitudes and images during the past 15 years, even when they weren't competing very often. Their swashbuckling attitude, angry disregard for authority, profane words of wisdom and athletic fighting styles all appeal tremendously to many people who support a young sport that's still seen as repellent counterculture by a big segment of mostly aging sports fans. Put it this way: A 22-year-old Nate Diaz once completed a submission finish with his legs while simultaneously thrusting two middle fingers in the air. You might love that or hate it, but you have an opinion. "That's the way I've been from Day One," Diaz said. "It's going to stay this way, too, until I'm 100 years old. I'm the Don of all this. If anybody is going to step in this room and say they're the (butt)-whipper, I beg to differ." Even Anthony Bourdain, the late traveler and gourmand, famously filmed a segment with Nick and Nate for his CNN show on Los Angeles, not because the Northern California natives knew much about LA and its cuisines — other than the best weed, probably — but simply because Bourdain, a jiu-jitsu practitioner and MMA fan, was fascinated by the brothers' outlaw ethos. Some of the brothers' behavior seems performative, but some of it isn't: Both Nick and Nate have essentially walked away from the UFC for long stretches of their prime, turning down countless millions in prize money because they refused to compromise what they considered to be their principles. Diaz split two tremendously entertaining matchups with McGregor and became one of the UFC's biggest stars in 2016, but he is 34 years old now, and Saturday's fight will be only his fifth since November 2013. Diaz said he felt mistreated by the UFC, although he struggles to explain how its persistent attempts to book one of its most popular fighters constitute disrespect. Diaz turned down matchups worth millions, including a probable shot at Georges St. Pierre, and he lost a chance to return last year when future champ Dustin Poirier was injured before their bout. Diaz also said he doesn't fight for money. He and his brother, Nick, who hasn't fought in nearly five years, are busy with Nick's thriving gym in their native Stockton, California. Nate said they've also got a successful CBD business, to absolutely nobody's surprise. "They've been trying to degrade me the whole time I've been out," Diaz said. "They're trying to put me low on the card against not very big names. They also tried to give me huge names, but those fell through. It don't matter. I believe I'm the main event in any event they've got. They'll do the best they can to keep me from that." Diaz's complaints are more likely a distilled version of that everyone-is-against-me mentality that drives so many athletes. But he was tempted back by a matchup with Pettis, who nurses a grudge against Diaz that apparently isn't mutual. Diaz dismissively refers to Pettis as "this Wheaties box" in reference to Pettis' former endorsement deal with the cereal, but has mostly ignored Pettis' pointed criticisms. Diaz won't say whether he plans to fight again, or whether he would like his first UFC title shot since 2012. He will stick to his own timetable and goals while nursing the same attitude that kept him on top of the UFC star pyramid even during three years away. "No one on the roster for the last three years even read the blueprints," Diaz said. "I'm right there. Why don't you go take it? And nobody did, and tomorrow, if some of these young guys say they're going to step up and take my position, I'm not with that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2019

ABS-CBN launches new TV barkada to love in ‘Bagong Umaga’

A new TV barkada will inspire viewers and offer life lessons with their intertwined stories in ABS-CBN’s new series, “Bagong Umaga,” which will air starting October 26 (Monday) on A2Z channel 11, Kapamilya Channel, and Kapamilya Online Live. Follow Tony Labrusca, Barbie Imperial, Kiko Estrada, Michelle Vito, Yves Flores, and Heaven Peralejo in their journeys through life and as they discover the stories from their past that reveal their true connection with each other. Her family’s tragic past will motivate Tisay (Heaven) to become a successful journalist. Amidst the hardship, she gets support from her parents Jose (Keempee de Leon) and Monica (Nikki Valdez), her adoptive brother, Dodong (Yves) and her best friend, Angge (Michelle Vito). Ely (Tony) falls in love with her because of her outlook in life. Like Tisay, Ely also has dreams of being successful, but as a doctor so that he can take his mother, Irene (Bernadette Allyson) and sibling, Gab (Ali Abinal) away from his abusive father, Matthew (Richard Quan). However, Cai (Barbie), Ely’s best friend, will resent the budding relationship between the two and will try to keep them away from each other, even if it means using Dodong. Things become even more complicated when Otep (Kiko) tries to befriend Tisay to use her to avenge her family’s painful past. Follow the barkada as they navigate life amid the lies, envy, and anger. Find out what mysteries from their pasts will test them and eventually reveal how they are connected. Joining the six teens are premier actors Sunshine Cruz, Criz Martinez, Peewee O Hara, Glydel Mercado, and Rio Locsin. Under the production of Rizza G. Ebriega, “Bagong Umaga” offers another value laden series following the success of its previous shows, “Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit ” and “Pamilya Ko.” Don’t miss the pilot week of “Bagong Umaga” from Monday to Friday, 2:30 PM on Kapamilya Channel on cable and satellite TV (SKYcable channel 8 SD and channel 167 HD, Cablelink channel 8, G Sat Direct TV channel 22, and in most channels operated by members of Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association). It is also available on A2Z channel 11, which is available in Metro Manila and in some parts of Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, and Pampanga. It can also be accessed via cable TV at satellite TV nationwide. The show is also on the Kapamilya Online Live YouTube channel and the ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page, as well as on the iwant app or iwanttfc.com. For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Tolentino misses warmth, love of Ateneo fans

Aside from the adrenaline rush and heart-pounding action, what Kat Tolentino misses the most in the UAAP are the Ateneo de Manila University fans. Considered as arguably the most rabid and hardcore supporters of a team in the country’s premier collegiate league, the Lady Eagles fans, who come from all walks of life and some aren’t even students or alumni of the school, left quite an impression to the Fil-Canadian. “I mean the fans are so supportive, they are so dedicated in supporting Ateneo,” said Tolentino during her appearance in ‘So She Did!’ podcast. Ateneo fans truly are the energizer of the Lady Eagles. They make every arena where Ateneo plays virtually the Lady Eagles’ home court. They form a sea of blue and their presence alone can put chills down the spines of every team Ateneo faces. And when they cheer – or occasionally jeer – they are sure to bring the noise. “For me, I mean just the way that every point is like cheered for, it’s not just like towards the end or the crucial point. It’s just crazy how when you do anything, they’re gonna react, they’re gonna scream or whatever. It doesn’t even matter if you score or whatever,” said Tolentino, who helped Ateneo win its third title overall in Season 81 last year. But aside from that, what Tolentino likes about the Lady Eagles fans the most are their genuine love and loyalty to the team. “I remember my first year I was so shocked, just because after the game, it wasn’t even during the game I got shocked, it was after when we got out to the bus, and there were like hundreds of people outside just waiting,” she said. “Imagine we still took an hour to shower, to get changed and to get all of our stuff. But they were all just waiting there outside, like it’s already getting dark, it’s past dinner time, they were just waiting for us just to say ‘hi’ or just to get an autograph or something” Tolentino added. That encounter according to Tolentino made her realize that the support of the Lady Eagles fans goes beyond the game. It’s intimate. “I’m just thankful for that just because it doesn’t just show that they are trying to watch the game, that’s it. They also want to meet us and they wanna say ‘hi’ so I’m just thankful to experience that,” said Tolentino. Tolentino, who is yet to decide if she will come back one last time to play for Lady Eagles, flew back to Canada after the cancellation of Season 82 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2020

ONE Championship back in action with ONE Hero Series 13 and 14 in Shanghai

Asian martial arts giant ONE Championship successfully returned to action this past weekend, with the return of ONE Hero Series 13 and 14, both held in Shanghai, China.  The back-to-back closed-door, audience free events that were held on June 20 and 21st marked ONE's first event since their ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE event in Singapore back in February 28th, just before the COVID-19 scare became a full-blown pandemic.  “We at ONE Championship are delighted to once again host the world’s most exciting martial arts events. I would like to personally thank all the fans for their continued support for our organization and our athlete," said Hua Fung Teh, ONE Champmionship Group President said. "Shanghai served as the perfect backdrop for the prestigious ONE Hero Series, which aims to showcase the absolute best in rising young martial arts talent from China." "By enforcing strict safety and sanitary measures, we made sure to prioritize the health and well-being of everyone who made these back-to-back events a huge success. As a result, ONE Hero Series was able to share the very best of martial arts with the world, showcasing the power of the human spirit," he continued.  According to the official press release, ONE Championship made sure to adhere to necessary protocols to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the show, which was shot and aired on Chinese broadcast platforms.  "ONE Championship established necessary protocols and procedures to ensure all athletes, staff, and contractors operated in a safe and sanitary environment with extensive medical testing, travel history questionnaires, adherence to CDC Guidelines with sanitation practices, social distancing strategies, daily symptoms monitoring, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The organization continues to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved in holding the world’s most exciting martial arts events through meticulous planning and stringent execution," the release read.    ONE Hero Series 13 Official Results - Strawweight Mixed Martial Arts bout: Ze Lang Zha Xi defeats Liang Hui by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds - Catch Weight Kickboxing bout (71.8kg): Luo Chao defeats Zhao Jun Chen by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds - Flyweight Kickboxing bout: Yang Hua defeats Wei Zi Qin by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds - Flyweight Mixed Martial Arts bout: Wang Zhen defeats Zou Jin Bo by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds - Lightweight Mixed Martial Arts bout: Fu Kang Kang defeats Wang Hu by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:29 minutes of round 2 ONE Hero Series 14 Official Results - Catch Weight Kickboxing bout (72.0kg): Xu Liu defeats Zhao Xiao Yu by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds - Featherweight Mixed Martial Arts bout: Zhu Kang Jie defeats Ayijiake Akenbieke by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds - Bantamweight Kickboxing bout: Fu Qing Nan defeats Yuan Peng Bin by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds - Lightweight Mixed Martial Arts bout: Zhang Ze Hao defeats Gao Bo by Knockout (KO) at 3:43 minutes of round 1 - Strawweight Mixed Martial Arts bout: Li Zhe defeats Mo Hao Xiong by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:16 minutes of round 1  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2020

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

(This story was originally published on April 20, 2018) Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding the Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him, landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si Coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” Ho said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to Taguig mayor Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped off with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles for a podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really Coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to an unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: No time to relax for repeat-seeking Ateneo Lady Eagles

All teams will be after Ateneo de Manila University as the Lady Eagles march into UAAP Season 82 with a huge target mark on their chests. But instead of taking it as pressure in its attempt to keep the title perched in Katipunan, Ateneo embraces it. A constant reminder for the Lady Eagles to be on their toes at all times and always keep their guards up. “Since defending champs kami, everyone wants to beat us,” said incoming third year libero Dani Ravena. “Added pressure ‘yun, but at the same time, it's motivation for us not to be satisfied with one game,” added Ravena. “Everyone wants to beat us so the next game will be tougher than the last one.” Ateneo lost three vital cogs in Maddie Madayag, Bea De Leon and Kim Gequillana after its title conquest last year in a dramatic come-from-behind Finals series win over University of Sto. Tomas, but still remains a powerhouse squad with key returnees and the addition of blue chip recruits. The biggest boost in the Lady Eagles’ title-retention bid is the presence of prolific scorer and court leader Kat Tolentino, who decided to make one final tour of duty. Joining Tolentino are seasoned players Jho Maraguinot and setter Jamie Lavitoria, who are making their return after skipping a year to pursue careers in the commercial league.   Ateneo will miss the services of heady playmaker Deanna Wong, who is still recovering from a shin injury, but will still have most of their championship core in Ravena, Ponggay Gaston, Jules Samonte, Vanessa Gandler, Erika Raagas and setter Jaja Maraguinot.   “Malaking factor ang pagbalik ng mga seniors sa amin and ‘yung improvement ng mga rookies and sophomores isang malaking bagay para sa amin,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. Giving the Lady Eagles an even deeper arsenal this season is the integration of promising rookies led by scorer Faith Nisperos and middle Joan Narit. While the good mix of veterans and rookies combined with championship experience and support of legions of fans make the Lady Eagles a serious title contender, Almadro constantly reminds his team that a repeat won’t be given to them for free.     “Mahirap maging complacent,” he said. “Mahirap mag-settle down na nakabalik na si ganito, nakabalik na si ganyan. I’m always telling my players, it’s not about how strong you are, it’s not about being strong lang eh.” “’Di sapat sa akin yung magaling lang eh. Kailanngan talaga nandoon ang teamwork, nandoon ang effort, nandoon ang sacrifices for the team and the school,” Almadro stressed.   EYES ON YOU: Ateneo will see this season the final flight of Kat Tolentino for the blue and white as well as the debut of its prized recruit Faith Nisperos. All eyes will be on the duo as they try to bring the Lady Eagles their second straight title and fourth overall.       Nisperos showed a glimpse of what to expect from her during the pre-season as she led Ateneo to a third place finish in the PVL Collegiate Conference. The National University-Nazareth School product, who averaged 12.4 points per game with 41.46% success rate in attacks in the PVL, embraces the challenge of playing for one of the best teams in the league in the past decade.    “I just wanna do my best,” she said. “I won't pressure myself in trying to push myself too hard. Ang goal ko lang naman is gampanan ‘yung role ko sa team.” For Tolentino, who during the pre-season played for ChocoMucho in the PVL Open Conference, she will be playing a bigger role as the leader of the Lady Eagles. “My main goal for this year is to find that leadership role and show my character,” said Tolentino. “I wanna help the team using my experience the last four years. I wanna encourage my teammates to push for that same goal.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2020

Brady says I still have more to prove in Instagram post

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Whether Tom Brady will return as quarterback of the New England Patriots next season is still an open question. But the 42-year-old on Wednesday gave another indication that he isn't done playing football. In an Instagram post to fans, Brady said “I still have more to prove” following a season that ended with the Patriots failing to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2015.         View this post on Instagram                   I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show - the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove. A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Jan 8, 2020 at 5:50am PST “In both life and football, failure is inevitable," he wrote. “You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again.” New England's season ended with a 20-13 loss in the wild-card round to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. A six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL title game and three-time winner of the league MVP, Brady could become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when his contract ends in March. That has placed team owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick on the clock to either bring back Brady for his 21st season or watch the franchise’s greatest player depart from the only team he's called home. Belichick said this week that there isn't an established timeline to resolve Brady's status, but he acknowledged that his case is unusual. “Everybody's situation is different," Belichick said. "Certainly, Tom is an iconic figure in this organization. And nobody respects Tom more than I do.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2020

Joshua Pacio has a message for all the Team Lakay bashers

As quickly as fans show their support when you win, they turn on you when you lose.  This is a harsh reality that athletes go through, especially now in this age of social media.  While most athletes tend to look away from the negative comments, there are others who see fit to take those criticisms and turn them into positives.  That's what Filipino mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay did. For years, the Benguet-based team has absorbed all the criticism that people have thrown at them, from not being world class to not having a good enough ground game to compete with the best.  Team Lakay responded by defeating of the best grapplers that ONE Championship has to offer en route to multiple world title wins.  But with the ups come the downs, and at ONE: Dawn of Heroes, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Team Lakay went 1-4.  Of course, the negative comments came storming in, and at this point, it's already no surprise to the boys from Baguio. Joshua Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion, has been on the recieving end of some of those negative comments from his previous losses, and he has turned those into motivation, which has translated into two world title runs at just 23 years of age.  During Team Lakay's post-fight presser, "The Passion" had a message for those Team Lakay bashers.  “Like we’ve said in the past, bashers, we take these things as a positive. This will motivate us and hindi mawawala yan sa ganitong sport. Mayroong mga bashers, and mayroong mga lovers.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

Warriors play final game at Oracle trying to force Game 7

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry offered a long list of things motivating the Golden State Warriors to extend their season once more and keep alive the chase for a third straight championship. Winning for injured teammate Kevin Durant certainly ranks No. 1 heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals. A victory in the last game at Oracle Arena is right up there, too. “I don’t think much needs to be said about the motivation that we have or are going to have tomorrow,” Curry said Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). ”... To protect our home court, feed off our crowd’s energy, play for ‘K’ and try to keep our season alive. There are a lot of things that you can kind of tap into for energy tomorrow. We’ll be ready.” Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are playing for Canada’s first NBA crown, not to mention the country’s first major title since the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993. Toronto lead the series 3-2 series and are 3-0 on the Warriors’ home floor this season. “For some reason I think both teams are really good road teams and have been all season,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “That’s one thing. Two, two really tough-minded teams playing and you’ve got to be a little more tough-minded on the road. And I think a lot of those games probably could have went either way.” The Warriors might have to overcome being both emotionally and physically spent after watching two-time reigning Finals MVP Durant go down again. Durant had returned from a monthlong absence with a strained right calf to start Game 5 only to rupture his right Achilles tendon in the second quarter. Durant announced Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) on Instagram the severity of his injury and that he had undergone surgery. The Warriors also lost reserve big man Kevon Looney as he re-aggravated a cartilage fracture in his right collarbone area. Klay Thompson expects more energy than ever given the Warriors have recently gone through, not to mention all of the highs and lows during 47 seasons at Oracle. “We’re just thinking about enjoying this last show at Oracle we’re about to give our fans. And I expect our fans to be the loudest they have ever been, especially in the name of Kevin and bringing his type of spirit he would bring to the fight and the competitiveness,” Thompson said. “I know our fans will do that because we deserve it, but more importantly Kevin does for what he gave this team, this organization. There wouldn’t be banners if it wasn’t for his presence.” Here are some other things to watch for going into Game 6: SPLASH AWAY Splash Brothers Curry and Thompson will be looking to repeat their hot shooting from Game 5, when they combined to go 19-for-44 from the field and 12-of-27 from deep. “We don’t want to give up that many to those guys,” Nurse said. “I think you got to guard them, got to find them in transition. They get a good chunk of them in that.” Momentum maybe? “It’s definitely a real thing,” Curry said. SUPPORTING DURANT Some well-intentioned Raptors fans, meanwhile, started a campaign to support Durant’s foundation as a way to offer their care and concern after some fans at Game 5 cheered the injury. “Sorry KD. That’s not what Canada is about. We want to make it up to you!” the post read. GREEN’S TECHS Draymond Green has six technicals during this postseason, and one more draws an automatic suspension. Green needs to control is emotions in Game 6 because should the Warriors win he would not want to sit out Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday (next Monday, PHL time). Green had 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in Game 5. MOVIN’ ON UP Leonard goes into Game 6 with 710 points this postseason, 14 shy of passing Allen Iverson (723) for fourth place on the NBA’s single-postseason scoring list and 16 from moving past Hakeem Olajuwon (725) for third. LeBron James is second with 748 last year behind Michael Jordan’s 759 points in 1992. “He’s a gamer. He’s shown that. He’s a Finals MVP back in the San Antonio Spurs days for a reason,” Curry said of Leonard. “He just makes winning plays. He’s obviously expanded his game since then and shown offensively how dynamic he is. He requires attention at all times.” END OF AN ERA Game 6 will be the final hurrah for Oracle. Golden State’s players have said all season the want to leave a legacy on this special home court — and winning a Game 6 would be the ideal outcome for Warriors fans. The Warriors already watched LeBron James and the Cavaliers clinch a Game 7 finals win in Oakland three years ago — it’s not something the home team wants to repeat. “This has been just an incredible environment in which to coach and play back in the day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Even when the Warriors weren’t any good, to come in here as a visitor and feel the energy in this building, you could tell that the fans loved the game. This was a basketball hotbed. And just the atmosphere out there, the energy, the noise, over the last five years with our team’s rise, combined with that organic energy that this place has always had, it’s just been an incredible experience to coach here.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2019

Retire or fight back? MMA stars offer advice to Ronda Rousey

div>GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer /div> div>  /div> div>LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ronda Rousey is taking time off to ponder her future after her 48-second loss in her comeback fight at UFC 207. /div> div>  /div> div>Amanda Nunes thinks Rousey must retire. /div> div>Jon Jones believes Rousey should fight again. /div> div>  /div> div>The UFC's biggest names offered strong opinions about Rousey's future Saturday, a day after Nunes punched Rousey into submission in less than a minute. Rousey (12-2), once the most dominant fighter in the sport, has now lost two straight boutss 13 months apart, looking unprepared and overmatched against both Holly Holm and Nunes. /div> div>  /div> div>After Nunes easily defended the bantamweight belt once held by Rousey, the champion encouraged Rousey to move on. /div> div>  /div> div>'That's it for her,' Nunes said Friday night. 'For sure, she's going to retire. She can't take it anymore. If she wants the rematch, I'm going to do the same thing, because she can't take my punches.' /div> div>  /div> div>Other major figures in mixed martial arts disagree. /div> div>Jones was arguably the most feared fighter in the sport before failing a drug test last summer. The suspended former light heavyweight champion took to Twitter on Saturday to encourage Rousey. /div> div>  /div> div>'My advice to Ronda would be to pick yourself up and try again,' Jones wrote. 'I think it's important for Ronda to show her fans how great she truly is by displaying her courage and giving it another try.' /div> div>  /div> div>Rousey declined to promote her comeback bout, and she refused to discuss her loss with fans or reporters after making a guaranteed $3 million along with undisclosed millions in bonuses and pay-per-view revenue from the UFC's year-end show. She issued a statement to ESPN on Saturday. /div> div>  /div> div>'Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year,' Rousey wrote. /div> div>  /div> div>'However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn't work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women's division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda. /div> div>  /div> div>'I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.' /div> div>  /div> div>Nunes acknowledged feeling sorry for Rousey after landing 27 punches on the former champion in just 48 seconds. Nunes believes the cumulative stress of Rousey's first loss, her acting career and numerous outside-the-cage responsibilities combined to 'pressure her too much.' /div> div>  /div> div>Nunes spoke directly to a bloodied Rousey in the cage after the loss. /div> div>  /div> div>'I told her, 'You did a lot for this sport,'' Nunes said. ''Thank you so much. Now, take some time to rest and maybe do something else.' Why should she keep doing this? She's a millionaire already. Why would she want to keep doing this? She'll hurt herself.' /div> div>  /div> div>But Jones sees a ferocious competitor in Rousey behind the acting jobs and modeling gigs. /div> div>  /div> div>'What she does next will truly determine her legacy,' Jones wrote. 'I really hope she chooses to be ... unbroken. Her story doesn't have to be over here. I also still believe she beats 90 (percent) of the division. Lots of ass kicking still to be done, lots of money to be made. /div> div>  /div> div>Jones also joined Nunes and innumerable MMA figures in questioning the effectiveness of Rousey's coaching. /div> div>  /div> div>Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey's coach, was widely criticized for his uneven, unusual coaching methods even before Rousey's career faltered. /div> div>  /div> div>Even Rousey's mother, AnnMaria De Mars, has ripped Tarverdyan, but Rousey has remained fiercely loyal to her longtime guru. /div> div>  /div> div>Jones is based at the Albuquerque gym of respected trainer Greg Jackson, the mastermind behind several UFC champions. Rousey's striking has long been a weak spot for the Olympic judo medalist, and she was utterly unable to cope with Nunes' punching ability, showing little growth in the past year from the weaknesses exposed by Holm. /div> div>  /div> div>'Maybe she just needs to complement her coach with an MMA family,' Jones wrote. 'Maybe she should join one of the bigger MMA teams. ... Being around other bad asses and constantly sharing your spotlight could be good for you (in) so many ways. They can improve on your humility.' /div> div>  /div> div>Rousey turns 30 years old in February, with several years of her ostensible athletic prime before her. While she has circled several major acting jobs after playing three supporting roles in recent years, she doesn't appear to have any major film commitments. /div> div>  /div> div>But Rousey took several months off after her first defeat, and she seems likely to be deliberate again. De Mars, who cradled Rousey as the fighter left the T-Mobile Arena cage, took to her blog Saturday to offer support. /div> div>  /div> div>'She cares DEEPLY about winning to an extent that I don't believe the average person can wrap his/her head around,' De Mars wrote. 'I am very proud of my daughter.' /div>.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2017

Skewered by Britney fans, Justin Timberlake apologizes

Pop star Justin Timberlake on Friday apologized for moments he "fell short" and condoned misogyny, one week after the release of a blockbuster documentary on Britney Spears saw the behavior of the former boy band star come under sharp criticism......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2021

GOT7 celebrates 7th debut anniversary: ‘Many more to come,’ ‘'7YearsWithGOT7’

GOT7 now (top) and their debut photos: (from left) Mark, JB, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, Yugyeom and BamBam (Twitter)  K-pop boy band GOT7 marked their seventh anniversary since debut today, Jan. 16, with messages for their fans.  GOT7 debuted on Jan. 16, 2014 with a performance on the TV music show “M Countdown” of “Girls Girls Girls,” the main track of their first album “Got It?,” which was released on Jan. 20.  Their seventh anniversary came just less than a week after it was announced that all the members were leaving JYP Entertainment, their agency for seven years, after negotiations for contract renewal failed. The last day of their exclusive contract is on Jan. 19.  Despite the uncertainty, members assured fans that they will continue with the group although they will be joining different agencies.  Fans marked the occasion by trending the hashtag #7YearsWithGOT7 on Twitter and posted messages.  “Thank you guys for 7 years. Many more to come. #7YearsWithIGOT7,” wrote member Mark Tuan.  When the news came out on Jan. 10 that GOT7 had decided not to renew their contracts with JYP Entertainment, Mark told fans that GOT7 will continue.  “The past 7 years have been the best years of my life. Nothing is coming to an end, just the beginning. The seven of us are going to continue to bring you guys the best version of us till the end. #GOT7FOREVER,” he posted on Twitter.  Jackson Wang celebrated the anniversary with the message “7 years. Always blessed for everything.”  “#GOT7FOREVER,” JB and Youngjae posted on Instagram along with a photo of the group while BamBam wrote “#IGOT7FOREVER 7years.”  An exclusive report by Korean media outlet Dispatch on Jan. 10 stated that Jinyoung will join actors’ agency BH Entertainment and Yugyeom is in talks with Jay Park’s AOMG label.  Youngjae is reportedly joining Sublime Artist Agency, BamBam is joining MAKEUS Entertainment.   Mark will return to the US and plans to open a personal YouTube channel while Jackson’s global activities will be handled by Team Wang. There was no mention of JB’s potential agency. The following day on Jan. 11, JYP Entertainment finally confirmed that GOT7 members will be leaving the agency.  “JYP held in-depth discussions with members of GOT7 ahead of their exclusive contract termination on Jan. 19. As a result, the two sides agreed not to proceed with a contract renewal, hoping for a new future,” it said, according to Yonhap News......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

THRILLMAKER: Ces Drilon turns over a new leaf

In showbusiness, there will always be the one hit wonders, those people who hit mainstream popularity usually for only one piece of work and become known to the general public solely for that momentary success.  Of course, those of this type are, sooner or later, gone from the public eye and then eventually forgotten.  Then there are the lurkers, as in the online world, they are those who just quietly stay afloat in the sidelines, not hitting it big but somehow able to prolong their presence in the showbiz realm.  Then come the real superstars, those who are able to prolong their relevance by not being boxed in by their past successes and are not afraid to explore and reinvent themselves for a more “current” image.  When one talks about reinvention, favorite pop icon of the 80s, Madonna, always comes to mind.  Locally, there is Vilma Santos-Recto, who has, throughout her career, taken on a lot of image makeovers from her days as a childstar, a teenstar, a dramatic star and now as a star legislator—truly stamping her mark as a Star For All Seasons. In Philippine television, one personality who has, over the decades, managed to successfully take on any role she’s been asked to play is seasoned broadcaster Ces Oreña-Drilon.  From being a very incisive news reporter, she shifted to covering business and then even hosted her own popular business show in the 90s.  From there we all saw her taking on the mainstream news anchoring chores in ABSCBN’s late primetime newscast Bandila, before eventually heading the Lifestyle Ecosystem of the entire network. When the dust coming out of the whole ABSCBN franchise debacle finally settled, regular viewers and fans found Ces still widely present in their mobile devices, with her KUMU ventures Ces and the City and Bawal Ma-Stress Drilon still getting good audience shares.  She has also upped her “influencer” status further by going into various businesses which are not only profitable but are inspiring more and more women to empower themselves though enterprise and hardwork. Very recently, the former Usapang Business host decided that she wanted to do something bigger for the nation—bigger than just giving Filipinos their daily dose of the news.   This is why she recently accepted her election as President of the TOWNS Foundation (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service).    TOWNS Foundation Incorporated is a national organization of dynamic and effective women who by their common shared activities and interests help transform the lives of the Filipinos.  The association is composed of 160 women, all accomplished in their respective fields, be it in the private or government sectors, who have been working together to help in the country’s development for the past 50 years.  Among the goals of the TOWNS Foundation is the recognition of women achievers which paved the way for the TOWNS Awards.  All TOWNS awardees become members of the foundation. The vision of TOWNS is to have a nation of empowered women who serve as catalysts for national development towards improving quality of life.  Its four-fold mission includes: identifying and recognizing exemplary women; harnessing talents of its members to influence national issues; inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs; and providing a nurturing environment to TOWNS members. When the COVID19 pandemic hit the country last year, TOWNS joined forces with the UP Medical Foundation, Inc (UPMFI) to source funds that were used to procure PPEs for hospitals all over the country.  The still ongoing campaign has so far raised over P57 Million for countless frontliner beneficiaries. With her election as President, Ces now joins the ranks of former TOWNS Presidents Olivia Ferry, who became ZONTA International President; former PEZA administrator Lilia De Lima; former SSS Administrator Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo; businesswoman  Evelyn Singson; and former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral. With Ces now at the helm, we’re certain that the group is now headed to even greater heights of greatness for we know that when Ces starts talking business, she really means it......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Coke PH expands Balik Pinas program for repatriated OFWs

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has expanded its Balik Pinas program to national scale to reach more repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and help them start their own business at home. Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “Coca-Cola’s commitment to Filipinos has only grown stronger, in weathering this crisis together,” said Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “We will help and support where we can. Through Balik Pinas, our goal is to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their livelihood abroad to start anew, via owning and operating their own business and be successful here, at home, with their families.” With the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), CCBPI aims to reach more OFWs who are interested to start their own business through Balik Pinas. Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that as of September 2020, over 190,000 overseas Filipino workers have been repatriated. Balik Pinas gives opportunities to OFWs to be part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, or a community reseller. Balik Pinas is a journey that the company and new entrepreneurs take together at every step—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth. Coca-Cola assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand. According to Carlos Rivera, CCBPI Territory Sales Team in Naga City, the Balik Pinas Program started as a small-scale initiative in Naga City to help former OFWs. Just a couple of months after returning home, Carlos Manzano and his family was able to set up their business as Coca-Cola distributor through the Balik Pinas Program, which Carlos said has reshaped his life and outlook forever. IN PHOTO: Carlos and their family’s multi-cab routing unit with the Coca-Cola Naga Sales team. When the program’s pilot rollout started, the Manzanos—brothers Carlos and Jazz, and their father Lito—were among the pioneer members. Carlos and Jazz had both been working for several years in Qatar until the COVID-19 pandemic shook the trajectory of their career and, consequently, the well-being of their families. Together with their father, Lito, who also used to be an overseas worker, they set up a beverage distribution business in their hometown Naga City. Their optimism, as with any new business venture, was tempered with anxiety over how it would all turn out—especially with the considerable challenge of launching during such tenuous times until Rivera offered them membership to the Balik Pinas Program of Coca-Cola. Now, the Manzanos are running a profitable business as Coca-Cola distributors. “Even when I had to leave Qatar suddenly because of the lay-offs, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there when things settle. But with Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas, I have a livelihood that doesn’t take me away from my family as being an OFW had,” said Carlos.  Lito can still remember his first order of 60 cases of Coke products. Now, the Manzano  family business has grown to an average of 4,000 cases a month, just five months after they started—a feat magnified for it being in the middle of a pandemic and strict quarantine measures. The Manzanos have also since invested in routing units to augment their business’s capabilities—a multicab and a tricycle. Since starting his business in 2019, Billy Belleza (left), is now one of the prominent Coca-Cola distributors in his area and has added another mini truck to serve more routes and deliveries. Billy is one of the pioneers of Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas program. Another Balik Pinas program pioneer member is Billy Belleza who decided to return to the country after working for 20 years in Brunei. “I am really thankful that Coca-Cola reached out to me to be a part of this. They have never failed to present opportunities for me and my business to grow since I decided to take part in the Balik Pinas Program. My sales actually soared this year,” said Belleza, who is also based in Naga City. According to Rivera, Balik Pinas Program was really designed for returning OFWs like Billy, Carlos, and Jazz and their families to set up and run a viable business at home. “With their success and in light of current events, this program was expanded to operate on a national scale, so the company can lend assistance to repatriated OFWs and their families as they weather through new challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Rivera said. Coca-Cola has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted countless lives and livelihoods. With programs like Balik Pinas, Coca-Cola remains firm in their commitment to help local communities, contributing to the restart of the national economy—by way of reaching out to Filipinos.  To know more about the program, you may reach Coca-Cola’s contact center at (02)-8813-COKE (2653). For SMART/PLDT users: toll-free number: 1800-1888-COKE (2653); and for GLOBE users: toll-free number: 1800-8888-COKE (2653). You may also contact 0919-160-COKE (2653) via SMS......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Sugarfree drops new song ‘Nagkita Muli’ on digital platforms

No grand launch or crowded listening parties. Just a new song from one of the popular Filipino bands Sugarfree whose sound endeared OPM lovers for many years. The new Sugarfree returns as a duo with Kaka Quisumbing (drums) and Jal Taguibao (vocals/ bass). After nine years, minus fellow members Ebe Dancel and Mitch Singson, Sugarfree is back with a new tune called “Nagkita Muli” released under Glass Onion Entertainment. “Dear Friends. Sugarfree is back with our newest single, ‘Nagkita Muli.’ This was just premiered tonight exclusively at Jam 88.3 FM!,” says Sugarfree made the announcement on Facebook when their new song debuted on February 25. Eight months later, “Nagkita Muli” will be streamed on audio streaming and media services providers. Their fans are simply ecstatic about their comeback in the music scene. Some of the comments: “Long wait is over!” “Love it” “100% support! Sugarfree is Sugarfree!” “Missing both these guys!” “Sooo glad to see this. I just hope people from the scene would just let them be. They’re just making music and clearly not harming anyone or anyone else’s legacy for that matter.” On Oct. 9, the group posted on Facebook: “And now we are here and meet again. Wounds heal and all pain.” Kaka Quisumbing (left) and Jal Taguibao. “Na-miss lang namin talaga ang isa’t isa sa pag-gawa ng kanta. Ang tagal din namin nawala sa music scene. So nung nagkita kami, sabi namin gawa uli kami ng songs,” says Taguibao, who is also a professor in the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman. “Ganun lang ka-simple kung paano nabuo ang new song namin,” adds Quisumbing. During an exclusive online interview, the duo reminisced about memorable moments of their successful career. “Ang hindi talaga namin malilimutan yung mga ‘lagare’ gigs namin. Meaning pagkatapos ng isang gig sa isang lugar, pupunta kami ng probinsiya for the second gig and then lilipad naman uli sa isang province para tumugtog,” recalls Taguibao. Quisumbing says: “Minsan sobrang sikip ng venue na parang hindi na kami maka-hinga. Ang hindi ko makakalimutan siyempre yung beginnings namin. Noon kami pa ang nagbabayad sa venue para maka-kanta lang tapos wala pang sampu ang nakikinig sa’yo. I guess halos lahat dumaan sa mga ganung simula bago sumikat.” A.L. Henson, manager of the group, says nothing big is being planned yet now that Sugarfree is back. “Initially, ang plan lang muna is to release a song. Then konting gig siguro. Release uli ng song. Ganun lang muna,” says Henson when asked if the duo was going full-blast in 2021. The duo adds that it will keep its Sugarfree style of music, similar to the sound they have embraced in the past. “Sa ngayon naman wala kaming plan mag experiment ng new sound. Tama na sa amin yung tunog na kinalakihan ng aming mga fans. Wala kaming plano na gumawa ng mga obscure na sound,” says Taguibao. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. No plans yet for a Sugarfree reunion despite clamor from fans, Hanson says. But the band promises fans that they will continue to make music. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. “Our fans can expect that we will be making new music with our brand of melodies and flavor. While doing that, we will continue exploring tunes to articulate through music, our personal histories and experiences,” the duo said......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Alden Richards to hold first virtual reality concert

Asia’s Multimedia Star Alden Richards will hold his first virtual reality concert in a global event never before seen in Philippine entertainment history as GMA Network presents “Alden’s Reality” on Dec. 8 “Alden’s Reality (AR)” gives Alden’s fans a virtual date like no other, combining cutting-edge technology and performances to produce a full-length concert and online interaction with their idol. Alden will take concertgoers to a journey that celebrates his 10 colorful years in the entertainment industry.  From heartfelt songs to adrenaline-filled dance numbers, Alden is sure to indulge everyone across the globe in his first ever virtual concert. A surprise treat also awaits his fans. Shot in 360-degree, concertgoers not only have access to front-row view, but they are also in for an immersive experience from the comforts of their home. Tickets can be purchased by logging on to www.gmanetwork.com/synergy. Philippine buyers are also given a special VIP package option at P1,200 which includes one (1) general admission ticket plus one (1) exclusive VR device to Alden’s Reality show. This special VR device takes the concertgoer to another level of enjoying the show which is set to begin streaming online at 9 pm on December 8 (Philippine time). “Through ‘Alden’s Reality,’ we are bringing you the future of Philippine concert landscape,” shares GMA Regional TV and Synergy Vice President and Head Oliver Amoroso. “We are more than excited that we are featuring Alden for our first virtual concert and that it also falls under the 70th anniversary of GMA Network. This is only the beginning. Synergy: A GMA Collaboration will be producing more events that will not only bring our Kapuso closer to their favorite artists but will also give them a unique concert experience wherever part of the Philippines and the globe they may be. We hope to see you all, virtually, on December 8.” “2020 has been a challenging year for everyone because of the pandemic,” says GMA Entertainment Group Vice President for Business Development Department III Darling de Jesus Bodegon. “We hope that through ‘Alden’s Reality,’ we can bring joy to all our Kapuso not just here in the Philippines but all over the world. We are also happy that we are able to celebrate with Alden his 10 wonderful years in the entertainment industry via this virtual-reality concert. We have been a witness to Alden’s growth as an actor and a celebrity and we are proud that he has remained humble though all these years. Alden’s Reality is his gift to all his fans who continue to support him and his journey as a Kapuso.”  Alden’s Reality (AR) is produced by Synergy: A GMA Collaboration, a group that produces ticketed and non-ticketed events and activities catering to all Filipinos across the globe. This is also GMA Network’s treat to loyal Kapuso as the country’s leading broadcast company marks its 70th anniversary. The concert is directed by Paolo Valenciano......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Dara holds live broadcast to celebrate reaching 1 million subscribers on YouTube

Dara, aka Sandara Park, held a live broadcast on Oct. 16 to celebrate her milestone of getting one million subscribers on her YouTube channel Dara TV. People from different countries tuned in to watch Dara’s broadcast where she thanked subscribers, gave updates about herself, discussed her plans and raffled off personal items to mark the occasion. Her YouTube subscribers reached one million on Oct. 10 and she tweeted, “Happy 1M subscribers #DaraTV Thank you so much everyone!!! Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat!!! #DaraTV1Million.” “This is the first time I’m doing YouTube Live and the comments are coming in so fast we can’t even read it,” Dara said during the broadcast. She added, “I’ve been doing YouTube for three years and there are about 60 videos uploaded on my channel. But, guys, that is amazing because I still hit one million. Thank you to everyone who subscribed.” Dara also revealed that she put on some weight and she’s very happy about it, saying, “I gained some weight for the first time in my life. I’ve been 38 to 39 kilos. I’ve finally gained six kilos.” “A lot of people were worried about me. I look more mature and I’m very pleased. The sad part about gaining weight is I don’t fit into all of my clothes anymore. I recently donated my clothes to my niece and nephews. I’m gonna shop for some jeans next week. My jeans don’t fit me anymore,” she said. She told her Pinoy fans, “Kamusta kayong lahat? Nagustuhan nyo ba yung recent upload ko sa DaraTV, yung Philippine market? Super enjoy ako dun. Ang ginawa ko dun nagpicture lang pero nag-enjoy pa rin ako (How are you? Did you like my recent upload on DaraTV about the Philippine market? I enjoyed it. I only took photos but I still enjoyed it).” In a video she uploaded on Oct. 3, Dara went to a Filipino street market near the Hyehwadong Catholic Church in Hyehwa-dong in Jongno, Seoul where she got to mingle and take photos with Pinoys and Koreans. Every Sunday, hundreds of Filipinos go to the street market to eat, buy Filipino food and products.The video now has more than 2 million views on YouTube. Dara also ranked the top five countries that watch her YouTube videos the most and the Philippines emerged as No. 1. “Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Grabe number one talaga kayo (Thank you very much. You are really number one). I love it because I started my career there. I miss you guys. I’m always thankful for support,” she said. Dara during her live broadcast on YouTube (Screenshot from Dara’s video) The US placed second with Dara saying, “Thank you so much for supporting DaraTV. South Korea, her home country, is third. She commented, “Even though I have a lot of content outside of Korea, im very thankful that I have a lot of Korean subscribers.” “Thank you so much, Indonesia,” she said as the country placed fourth while United Arab Emirates is fifth and Dara said, “I’ve never been there but I really wanna go.” Dara thanked viewers for enjoying her video with CL and said she also wants “to go to Minzy’s dance academy to learn and dance there.” She was asked what was most memorable during the music video shoot with Park Bom and she said, “It’s always very chaotic when I’m with her. The most memorable thing about that shoot is that it had to be very serious but she just made me laugh so much and she asked why I wasn’t being all ‘hip-hoppy’ for my web scene but I just enjoyed that shoot a lot because it was so funny.” Dara started her showbiz career in the Philippines and left it to debut in 2NE1 in 2009. The group disbanded in 2016. She is still under YG Entertainment. She was asked if she’s going to blog about a tour of the new YG Entertainment headquarters located in Hapjeong in Mapo District, Seoul. “Next year, maybe. Still a work in progress. It looks very futuristic, very cool looking. Kinda looks like a music video set,” she said. One commented that Dara has no problem buying new clothes but she said “I can’t shop that much these days because I want to save more money [because of the ongoing pandemic].” “We should all save money. Since we can’t perform and also everyone around the world, we have to save our money. We’re just being very mindful here. I’m very thankful because I’ve been working so much. I just came back from a schedule and this entire week I had schedules and it looks like I will be very busy next week as well so I’m very thankful for my job,” she said. She said the upcoming episodes on DaraTV include staycation and cooking episodes. To celebrate the milestone, Dara raffled off bracelets and Polaroid photos, and her own clothes. Dara will also be hosting the second season of the TV show “Idol League” with BTOB’s Eunkwang and the first episode is set on Oct. 17. About her plans, she said, “Right now, I’m gonna focus on emceeing and you guys can look forward to that. You guys might see something related to acting because I’ve been talking to my musical friend. And for music, it’s always on my mind. We are all working on it so stay tuned.” Caption Dara during her live broadcast on YouTube (Screenshot from Dara’s video).....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Ultimate stan experience with Stray Kids

Globe Kmmunity PH’s VLive channel continues to provide exclusive events, experiences, and content for Hallyu fans including the chance to show support and interact with their favorite idols......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Eduard Folayang: When an underdog finally became a world champion

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

Coach Tab calls Philippines the Mecca of basketball

Tab Baldwin has been in the Philippines for five years now. First brought here to coach Gilas Pilipinas, the brilliant tactician has since assembled a juggernaut in Ateneo de Manila University which has won the past three championships in the UAAP. It didn't take long for Coach Tab to fall in love with the Philippines and, of course, that was all because of Philippine basketball. "I love the Philippines and I think one of the most endearing aspects of the Philippines is this is a basketball paradise. Everywhere you look there are players, there are teams, there are competitions, there are fans, there are facilities," he said in the inaugural episode of Coaches Unfiltered. "I can tell you from the countries that I've been that much of what I've said isn't there, never is all of it there. That includes the US." The American-Kiwi had been around in the international basketball circuit and his most successful stint prior to the Philippines was in New Zealand. For him, though, the Filipino homeland is something special. "This, to me, is the Mecca of basketball," he said. And for him, the fact that Filipinos are not necessarily built for basketball makes all of this more special. As he put it, "You may say we don't have the greatest players in the world and that's true. Demographically, we are challenged with our size, but that doesn't really impact the passion for the game, the love for the game." That fire and desire, first and foremost, the reason why Coach Tab views the Philippines as the center of basketball. "When you put on top of that that this is one of the most hospitable countries in the planet with one of the kindest, gentlest, and friendliest populations, I start to ask myself where else would I wanna be and there aren't too many answers to that questions," he said. Does that mean that he will retire here - just like Tim Cone, Norman Black, and Alex Compton did? "Retirement? Why not," he said. "And if then, I can still continue being part of the basketball community to help coaches, to help young players, even if they have to push me around in a wheelchair, why not?" Of course, nothing is set in stone. What is for sure, however, is that Tab Baldwin loves Philippine basketball and will only continue to do so. "I love this country. I love the basketball landscape here even with its flaws and I hope to be a part of helping better every aspect of it because I know (Philippine basketball) has done so much to better my life," he shared. He then continued, "I think I can show my appreciation for that in no better way than to submit myself to what is good for Philippine basketball." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2020