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From Cellar-Dweller to Contender: Basilan s phenomenal rise in the MPBL

Coming off a rough 2018-19 MPBL Datu Cup campaign, Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic has no way to go but up, with the help of Phenom Sports, its new management team. Phenom, led by Jax Chua, took over Basilan late last season when the Steel have already spiraled down to the bottom of the MPBL and finished the tournament tied with Rizal for the last spot of the Southern division behind a dismal 7-18 win-loss record. From there, Phenom rebuilt the team, starting with the coaching staff that has what it takes to maneuver a losing team to a victorious one. “Coming in, ‘yung outlook naming sa team, we want to bring a winning culture ditto sa Basilan. We took the challenge kahit alam naming cellar-dweller noong Datu Cup,” said Chua, who also serves as the general manager of the Steel. Coach Jerson Cabiltes took the helm for Basilan, alongside deputies Noy Catalan, Florian Pineda, Arnold Oliveros, Jinino Manansala, Joseph Guion, Migs Montero, and Dands Javier. Then came the task to build a team that exhibits the same qualities of the Basileños: determined, full of perseverance, hardworking, and has something to prove. Phenom, who also ventured into player management aside from sportswear-making, then made the moves to improve Basilan’s lineup by taking players who are no big names but can contribute in a variety of ways. “To have a winning team, not necessary naman to get big name players. Ang hinanap namin ay mga hardworking players who will buy into the system at magsa-sacrifice talaga,” Chua said. The management retained veteran Dennis Daa for his leadership while activating Cris Dumapis, who has emerged as a reliable force in the paint. They then acquired the services of shifty playmaker Hesed Gabo and sharpshooting big man Jay Collado from Quezon City, marksman Jhapz Bautista from Makati, high-leaping Bobby Balucanag and Shaq Alanas from Pasay, sparkplug Gab Dagangon from Bataan, and Michole Sorela from Navotas. They also signed PBA veterans Jonathan Uyloan and Anthony Bringas alongside Irven Palencia, an integral cog for St. Clare in NAASCU, who is also managed by Phenom. Philip Manalang, Mark Trinidad, Ar Raouf Jilkipli, Junjie Hallare, Darwin Lunor, Jett Vidal, Melgar Murillo, Harold Ng, and Reiner Bazan completed the lineup of Basilan. The Turnaround When the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup opened, the retooled Basilan started on the right foot with two straight wins against Bicol and Pampanga. But when the adrenaline ran out, the Jumbo Plastic-backed squad saw its win-loss standing at 9-8 midway through the season. Then Basilan scorched the league in its remaining 13 games, tallying 11 victories while only losing two matches. The main reason for the brilliant playoff push? The arrival of Phenom-managed collegiate talents in Allyn Bulanadi, NCAA Season 95 leading scorer and San Sebastian College-Recoletos superstar, and Philip Manalang, lead floor general of University of the East. Bulanadi, a 6-foot-3 up-and-coming star, played in the Steel’s last seven games in the elimination round on an impressive 21.71 points on 46 percent clip and 4.5 rebounds averages. Meanwhile, Manalang is a sparkplug off the bench who brings the tenacity on the defense all while contributing on the other end in various ways. Basilan entered the playoffs with a 20-10 record, good for the third spot in the tough Southern division just behind top seed Davao Occidental and second-ranked Bacoor. “Our main goal was to for a competitive team and we want to redefine Basilan through basketball. In this way, I think we have garnered so many fans and inspired yung buong Basilan province that’s why I think we have already succeeded in redefining Basilan,” Chua said. But the grind did not stop for the Steel as they marched into the postseason with the whole Basilan province rallying behind their backs. In the quarterfinals, Basilan swept Iloilo advancing into the semifinals, with a daunting task of beating second seed powerhouse Bacoor City. The Steel survived a grueling three-game series against the Strikers, coming up on top despite having home-court disadvantage for Games Two and Three. In the division finals, Basilan faced the toughest team in the South, the Davao Occidental Tigers. But Basilan showed, again and again, its heart, escaping Game One with a 74-72 victory at the Davao Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City. And with a shot to glory and barging into the National Finals, Basilan looked to become South kings in front of their huge following at Lamitan City Gym in Game Two, but the Tigers have other plans, spoiling Basilan’s home court and surviving with an 81-76 win. Game Three was supposed to happen last March 14, but MPBL decided to suspend the Division Finals due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Nandito na rin kami eh, we are not here to participate lang. Given the chance and we will gladly take it. We will go all out to bring more pride to the Basileños and to repay the trust na binigay sa amin ng leaders ng Basilan especially Congressman Mujiv Hataman, Mayor Julz Hataman Governor Jim Hataman Salliman and Councilor Hegem Furigay,” added Chua. Will Basilan Steel continue their astounding playoff run to the National Finals or will Davao Occidental retain its crown in the South? No matter what, Basilan has already won the hearts of the Basileños and the whole MPBL fanbase with its tremendous turnaround from a lowly team in Datu Cup to a powerhouse in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season. More than Basketball But “Redefining Basilan” is more than basketball. Phenom Sports not only wanted to turn around people’s perception of Basilan the basketball team but give Basilan the province the appreciation it deserves. Basilan has been a hotbed of misconceptions due to the armed conflicts that happened there, but those were the days and the province has moved on. “Right from the start na nakapunta ako sa Basilan, sobrang iba nito kasi akala natin magulo ang Basilan, ang mga tao iba ang ugali pero hindi. Basilan has been enjoying a long peace na. For more than 15 years now under the leadership ng mga Hataman, naging maayos, naging focused sila sa peace and progress,” Chua on Basilan province. And basketball has played a huge part in giving the young Basileños a dream to hold on. “Yung mga kabataan, nabibigyan ng chance na mangarap na maging katulad ng idols nila,” said Chua. “They want to be the next Allyn Bulanadi, the next Hesed Gabo, the next Irven Palencia. This is what basketball is giving to the Basilan people.” The Steel has built a cult following in Basilan and it is the best feeling a player could feel. “Paglapag pa lang ng pier, everybody knows the players. They follow them like rockstars, like celebrities. They send food to the hotels, they watch our practices. Ganoon kamahal ng Basilan yung mga players nila. They saw a hardworking team who really represents Basilan’s culture - the determination, the perseverance and the hard work of the Basileños,” Chua concluded. But how did Basilan Steel get popular in the province? Meet the team behind Phenom Sports. Phenom is all-in in redefining Basilan and that’s why they have a team to do so. They have photographers in Marl Castro, Thel Suliva, and Michael Ordoñez who captured in-game pictures and the team’s interaction with the fans. Rion Balin and Jeff Palaganas are the videographers who make the video highlights of the Basilan players for the fans. Juls Claudio and Dands Javier are graphic artists who create the posters and other publication materials to be posted on the team’s social media accounts. The latter also serves as the marketing man of Phenom. Emma Bueno and Joseph Guion complete the team as coordinator and director, respectively. In a span of just a year, Phenom Sports has reached its goal of redefining Basilan, turning it to #BasilanRedefined......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 19th, 2020

An array of MPBL stars have been drafted in the PBA. Who will shine?

A passel of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League ballers have been drafted into the PBA. These gifted young Pinoys prove that the MPBL is a worthy proving ground for the pro league. We asked a few observers of the league to give their two cents on who they think will fly in the pros, namely commentators Migs Gomez and Martin Antonio as well as league head of ops, Emmer Oreta. Both Gomez and Oreta think that Manila Frontrow Star Aris Dionisio will make the biggest splash in the pros. “Aris Dionisio is the best MPBL player in the (PBA) draft,” says Gomez. “I think his length and athleticism can translate his defensive abilities to the PBA easily. Offensively, he is also capable of running the floor and shooting threes, so converting him from center to small forward will not be a problem.” The 6 foot 5 Dionisio was nabbed by Magnolia with the 9th choice in the first round. “Aris Dionisio is a versatile player who can play a lot of positions, and can also can play off the ball,” notes Oreta. “And the most important thing is he can play defense, for sure.” “Dionisio is next in line to Marc Pingris,” adds Martin Antonio. Oreta and Gomez also agree that Mike Ayonayon will be an impact player immediately in the PBA. The 6-foot San Juan Knight is “a baller, a lengthy swingman who is very athletic and likes the open floor,” says Gomez. The former PCU Dolphin was selected third by NLEX and is etched in league lore because of his Reggie Miller-esque 12-point, two-minute outburst for San Juan that enabled the Knights to a close comeback win versus Bataan earlier in the season. Antonio believes that Ayonayon will thrive and develop under Road Warriors mentor Yeng Guiao. “Ayanayon + Guiao = Killer,” says Coach Hammer. “Yeng Guiao loves players like Mike,” adds Antonio. Gomez even gives the high-flying Antipoleno the ultimate compliment. “I came up with my signature line “Magic in the Air” because of him.” When it comes to sleeper picks and project players, the experts are split. Oreta and believes that Chris Bitoon, Dionisio's teammate in Manila, could be a surprise package. “A late pick, but for sure coach Nash Racela knows this guy well, and he can really play.” The former Manuel L. Quezon University Stallion had his number called in the third round by Blackwater Elite. Also getting drafted by Elite was Richard Escoto, who played for the Iloilo Royals, where Racela was an assistant before getting the Blackwater head coaching job. Gomez believes that Aaron Black is a worthy project for Meralco. The Zamboanga combo guard who also played for QC early in the season was corralled by the Bolts, who are coached by his father, Norman. “The pressure has always been there for Aaron to live up to his last name, but he has embraced it and blossomed in the MPBL,” explains Gomez. “He has a good relationship with his father, and with the skillset and body that he has now, I can only see him improving more and more. Aaron can play point guard and get triple-doubles.” Gomez also throws another name into the ring when it comes to project players: Yankie Haruna. The former CSB Blazer, currently with the Bacolod Master Sardines club, was drafted 9th in the second round by Magnolia. The 6 foot 2 New Jersey-native is an enticing prospect. “He’s tall enough, very athletic, and likes to penetrate with full authority. I think his body can translate into an explosive scorer in the PBA,” explains Gomez. Oreta on the other hand thinks Cris Dumapig can rise up from obscurity to become a PBA player. “He is a workhorse of a big man, for sure this kind of a player Coach Pido Jarencio really wants. I'm hoping he can sign with the team.” Dumapig was taken by NorthPort in the middle of the third round. The rebounding machine is a vital cog for a Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic side that is third in the South Division as of the writing of this piece. Oreta also thinks another big man can make waves: Cebu Sharks – Casino Ethyl Alcohol's Will McAloney. “Coach Yeng really loves players from the south, playing physical and all-out every time,” said Oreta. The burly homegrown Cebuano was the first of NLEX's two second round selections. There are so many MPBL stalwarts who are testing the waters in the PBA, like Allyn Bulanadi, the stylish scorer taken by Alaska, and Rey Publico, the Iloilo big man also absorbed by the same PBA team. Rey Suerte of Batangas will don the colors of Blackwater after his early selection (Editor's note: Bulanadi and Suerte were selected as part of the special Gilas Draft and will focus on national team duties before suiting up in the PBA). Big names like Prince Rivero and Arvin Tolentino will also attempt to show their wares at the country's highest stage. Most if not all of these players will remain with their MPBL teams until April. Whether it's in the Liga ng Bawat Pilipino or at the PBA, we can expect tons of fireworks from this bumper crop of young Pinoy hoops talent......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 24th, 2020

From cellar-dweller to title contender: Bolts shine with tremendous turnaround

MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts have gained quite an achievement in merely making the PBA Governors Cup Finals, mystifying just about everybody in th.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 4th, 2016

WHAT IF... Paul Desiderio missed the Atin To shot

History lesson: The University of the Philippines' rise began even before Kobe Paras, even before Bright Akhuetie, and even before Paul Desiderio. The Fighting Maroons, with Jett Manuel at the helm, were already knocking on the door of the UAAP 79 Final Four. In the end, they fell short, but tying for fifth-place remains a step forward from their so-called "dark days." From there, they improved year-by-year. Technically, that was the origin story of their transformation into the “Winning Maroons.” In essence, however, this new State U, this legitimate contender State U, was born on the day Desiderio claimed victory. "Atin to, papasok to!" -- Paul Desiderio during the timeout. Moments later...#UAAPSeason80 pic.twitter.com/7yafSpldJM — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 10, 2017 “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to,” he yelled in the middle of a timeout with just 5.3 ticks to go in their Season 80 opener opposite University of Sto. Tomas. Not long after, he took a pass from Jun Manzo and then launched a long-range missile over Zach Huang. Game, set, and match for him and his team. UP still fell short of the playoffs that year, but next season, they finally broke through for their first Final Four appearance since 1997 and then their first Finals stint since 1986. From then until now, “Atin ‘To” has been the battlecry of a long-suffering team and fanbase. Sometimes, however, don’t you ever think what if… What if Desiderio missed that shot? That guarantee he made and that game he won was just the jumpstart the Fighting Maroons needed to believe that hey, they could really, really do this. When the proud Cebuano said it, though, there was also a 50 percent chance he was going to disappoint his teammates, his coaches, and their faithful. What if he did? Of course, Desiderio would not be a lifetime legend in Diliman. There is a credible chance he still goes on to make the Mythical Team that year, but wouldn’t have his iconic moment. In turn, State U wouldn’t have a battlecry - two words so simple, yet so strong. “Atin ‘To” was the short and sweet statement that all has changed for UP and it will now stand alongside the best of the best in men’s basketball. And that means that one of the four spots in the playoffs was theirs. In Season 81, the Fighting Maroons would still put an end to their 21-year Final Four drought and 32-year Finals absence - of course they do behind MVP Bright Akhuetie, Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano, and team captain Desiderio. They do so, though, with a battlecry with a lot less passion that “Atin ‘To” encapsulated and entailed - think “16-strong” or something to that effect. Without an iconic moment, Desiderio fails to stand out all that much in the 2018 PBA Draft and falls lower than the no. 4 he was picked at. Other players, friends and foes alike, would also have to find a new name for claiming victory. From Matt Nieto. To Akhuetie. To Emilio Aguinaldo College. The ripple effects even reach outside basketball as, without the recent comparison, UST’s “Kami Naman” becomes even more powerful. In terms of on-court results, nothing much would have changed if Paul Desiderio missed the “Atin ‘To” shot. The story, however, would be a lot less colorful. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 27th, 2020

Cocolife Tigers to resume training for MPBL battle

The Davao Occidental Cocolife Tigers can now resume their comprehensive training and physical conditioning in preparation for their south division title retention bid against Basilan in the Lakan Cup of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League right in their bailiwick in Mindanao......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 27th, 2020

Bulanadi s birthday blowout? Sharing blessings to frontliners, homeless

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2020

ONE Championship s return to Manila, all events in May postponed indefinitely

It looks like ONE Championship won't be returning to Manila this coming May.  As the world continues to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, community quarantines, lockdowns, and travel bans have been imposed on multiple countries across the globe, including Singapore and the Philippines.  As such, ONE Championship has decided to postpone all their scheduled events in May, as announced by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.  ONE Championship was scheduled to return to Philippine shores on May 29th, which would have featured the return of Brandon Vera for a world title defense against contender Arjan Bhullar.  "All May events for ONE Championship will be postponed until further notice due to the recent COVID-19 developments (border closings and lockdowns) across most countries in Asia," Sityodtong wrote. Our highest priority remains the safety and health of our athletes, officials, staff, fans, and the public during these challenging times. My team and I are working around the clock on multiple options to bring back our events as soon as safely possible. Stay tuned for news!" This comes just weeks after ONE initially announced the postponement of their scheduled closed-door events in Singapore starting April due to the country's "Circuit Breaker" partial lockdown, an attempt to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in the country.  ONE Championship had planned to continue to hold closed-door events in April and May in Singapore.  The number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the country however, prompting the government to extend the lockdown from May 4th up to early June.  In the Philippines, while trends point to the a 'flattening of the curve' so to speak, the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed on Luzon has been extended at least until May 15th.  If the government deems it okay to lift the ECQ by then, it's still highly unlikely that sporting events resume just 14 days later. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2020

Tao hindi pandemic proof pero pwedeng maging pandemic capable

HINDI umano dapat masayang ang leksyon na natutunan ng bansa sa coronavirus disease 2019 at gawing pandemic-capable ang mga ospital sa bansa. Ayon kay House Deputy Speaker at Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman hindi man ‘pandemic-proof’ ang tao maaari namang tayong maging ‘pandemic-capable”. “All projections point to a rise in cases until the middle of the […] The post Tao hindi pandemic proof pero pwedeng maging pandemic capable appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 27th, 2020

MPBL Commissioner Duremdes: 'We’re going to finish the season'

The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season will push through with its stalled division and national finals. MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes gave this assurance Wednesday to quash speculations the league is going to cancel the remaining games of its third season in the wake of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. As to when will be the resumption of the division finals, Duremdes said it will depend on the national government’s decision on easing up restrictions on the staging of public gatherings, including sports events. “We’re going to finish the season, said Duremdes, who is holed up in his hometown of Koronadal, South Cotabato. “We’re just waiting for the clearance of the national government.” President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to announce whether the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), in effect until April 30, will be lifted, extended, or modified. Though the consensus is a modified ECQ will be implemented, Duremdes said there are a lot of issues to be tackled before the MPBL can resume. “First, we need to advice the four teams (San Juan Knights, Makati Super Crunch, Davao Occidental Tigers, Basilan Steel) involved since they are all coming from inactivity and the players need to get back in shape,” said Duremdes. “Then we need to consider the stand of the LGUs (local government units). Other factors to be considered, according to Duremdes, are land travel, resumption of domestic flights, sea travel, and the availability of hotels, restaurants, and game venues. “We can play as soon as the ECQ is lifted but behind closed doors,” said Duremdes. “Hopefully the situation brightens up.” Both the South division finals between San Juan and Makati and the North division finals between Davao and Basilan are tied at 1-1, forging Game 3 deciders. San Juan beat Makati, 76-60, in their series opener but Makati rebounded with a 91-88 victory in Game 2 held behind closed doors at FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan. Basilan edged Davao, 74-72, in Game 1 in Tagum City, but Davao equalized with an 81-76 triumph in Game 2 held at the jampacked Lamitan City Gymnasium. The division winners will dispute the Lakan Season national crown in a best-of-five series. The Batangas City Tanduay Athletics ruled the inaugural MPBL Anta Rajah Cup participated in by 10 teams, while the San Juan Knights emerged champions of the 26-team Datu Cup. Now boasting 31 teams, MPBL is supposed to open its fourth season on June 12, but it will be moved back owing to recent developments. Like Duremdes, MPBL founder and CEO (chief executive officer) Sen. Manny Pacquiao is also bent on finishing the Lakan Season once the coronavirus gets contained. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2020

ONE chairman Chatri Sityodtong would love to see ONE s best vs UFC s best

ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong would love to see the best martial artists from his promotion go against the best that the UFC has to offer. During a Facebook Live Q&A session, ONE’s head honcho admitted that he would indeed love to see the best of the East go head to head against the best of the West. “I would definitely love to see the best of the East versus the best of the West. UFC versus ONE Championship,” Chatri said. “I think, would be phenomenal, I think the whole entire world would watch it, and I’d love to see world champions versus world champions, so definitely, for sure, I’m open to it.” Imagine ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera taking on UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, or how about ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang testing himself against UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya? Who would win in a featherweight bout between ONE champion Martin Nguyen and UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski? A ONE vs. UFC card would definitely provide some very exciting moments. This isn’t the first time that Chatri spoke about ONE and the UFC crossing paths however. Back in 2017, Chatri said he would welcome a cross-promotion invitation from UFC President Dana White. “I would love Dana White to give me a call and say: 'Let's do a UFC World Champion vs a ONE World Champion – let's do a cross promotion.' That is something I am very interested in,” he said. Later on in the Facebook Live Q&A session, Chatri brought up the ONE vs. UFC angle once again when asked what match he would like to see in Women’s MMA. “For women’s mixed martial arts, I would love to see Xiong Jing Nan vs. Zhang Wei Li,” Chatri responded. China’s Xiong Jing Nan is the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion, while compatriot Zhang Wei Li is the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion. Chatri also expressed his confidence in former two-sport ONE world champion Stamp Fairtex. “I think Xiong is the one to beat Zhang, but I think also Stamp Fairtex could beat Zhang Wei Li as well.” “Stamp Fairtex against any female striker in the world or any female MMA fighter in the world, even though she’s only 4-0 in MMA, she’s a complete beast,” he added. Chatri also used this opportunity to highlight one of the promotion’s biggest stars and most dominant champions, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee. “I think Angela Lee vs. any atomweight in the world, Angela Lee is incredible, I have seen her in training, I have seen her go into a bout with pneumonia, with doctors’ advice not to compete, I tried my best to stop the fight, Angela Lee is an absolute warrior and she’s a genius in the ground,” he expressed. Lee could have her hands full when she returns to the cage however, as she’s set to face Filipina top contender Denice Zamboanga, who has torn through the women’s atomweight division with wins over big names such as Jihin Radzuan and two-time title challenger Mei Yamaguchi. Chatri continued to give his female champions praise when asked who the baddest woman on the ONE Championship roster was. Who’s the baddest woman in ONE Championship? I would have to give it to either…three females come into mind: Xiong Jing Nan, Angela Lee, and Stamp Fairtex,” he stated. “It’s too hard for me to pick which one is the best, but all three are genuine world champions who could run through every female in the planet in their weight class, in any martial art, they’re just complete monsters, it’s incredible.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2020

MPBL: ECQ giving Davao s Mark Yee time to heal from injury

With the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season Division Finals put on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Davao Occidental-Cocolife main man Mark Yee is putting all his spare time to good use. After being initially diagnosed with a torn plantaris muscle on his right knee due to a collision during the Game Two of their quarterfinals match-up against Bicol last February 21, MRI results revealed that the 38-year-old bruiser suffered a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear and a torn calf. Despite the injuries, Yee battled through the pain and managed to suit up in four of Davao Occidental’s last five playoff games. But with Luzon placed under enhanced community quarantine due to the country’s on-going fight against the pandemic, Yee is maximizing his extra time to work out, making sure that he’s a hundred-percent ready once their Game Three clash against Basilan-Jumbo Plastic resume. “Sobrang malaking bagay ‘to para sa akin kasi makakapag rehab ako kahit dito sa bahay at makakapaghanda para sa game. Bahay lang talaga, kaunting papawis. Sa ngayon ang iniisip ko sana matapos muna ‘tong COVID virus, dasal lang saka tiwala kay God talaga,” Yee shared. “Pinagaling na ako ni God, pero masaya na malungkot ako dahil sa quarantine. Siyempre, masaya kasi may time ako makapag-workout at makapaghanda para sa Game Three pero malungkot kasi maraming mga tao yung naapektuhan at ‘di makapagtrabaho." Despite the future of the Lakan playoffs being uncertain, Yee insisted that the Tigers need to brace for every possible scenario -- including a win-or-go-home Game Three. “Walang nakakalamang e, kahit home court namin or nasa amin yung momentum, kailangan namin pagtrabahuhan nang maigi para makuha namin yung panalo.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 5th, 2020

Monikers that made their mark in UAAP women’s volleyball

It is common in the Philippines for basketball players to earn nicknames given to them in the collegiate level or when they climbed up to the professional ranks. In volleyball, specifically in the UAAP, monikers for women’s volleyball players came a little much later. UAAP volleyball sportscasters and sportswriters use these monikers, mostly suggested by fans, not only to add color to their broadcasts and stories but to give an identity to outstanding players who earned their nicknames through their skills and passion for the sport. “Sa tingin ko karamihan sa mga monicker ngayon ay nanggagaling sa mga fans ng players,” said ABS-CBN S+A sports broadcast anchor Anton Roxas. “Pero bilang mga commentator, nasa amin na lang kung gagamitin namin ‘yung mga monicker na yun sa broadcast.” “Para sa akin, ang pinaka-importante, gusto ng player mismo yung monicker,” he added. “My personal rule is: If the player approves of the monicker, then you can use it.” We’ve gathered some of best monikers that made their mark in UAAP women's volleyball.   PHENOM When you think about Alyssa Valdez there are no other words that could best describe the best player to ever don the Lady Eagles jersey.     Her all-around game, powerful attacks, high volleyball IQ, leadership, charm and meteoric rise is nothing short of phenomenal and her nickname best describes it all.      Valdez lived up to her billing when she led the Lady Eagles to two straight titles while earning three consecutive Most Valuable Player awards in her five-year stint with Ateneo. Ateneo fans are known to give almost every Lady Eagle a moniker. Libero Denden Lazaro is the ‘Iron Eagle’ because she will deliver even if she’s hurt and all. Ella De Jesus is the ‘Ellavator’ because of her elevation when attacking, Jho Maraguinot is known as the ‘Eagle Claw’ being one of Ateneo’s best spikers while Maddie Madayag is the ‘Madzilla’ for being a monster at the net.  The ‘Fab Five’ of Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi will always be remembered as the most popular quintet in UAAP volleyball.       JIAMAZING Jia Morado makes her Ateneo teammates look good all the time. She never fails to amaze the crowd with her heady plays and drop shots.   CHERRY BOMB Cherry "Sisi" Rondina packs a lot of firepower in a small package. She may not the tallest of University of Sto. Tomas hitters but when she skies for an attack, expect it to be an explosive one.     BEAST MODE QUEEN No one who ever wore De La Salle University’s jersey had the same passion, tenacity, fierceness and swag as that of Aby Marano.         MISS EVERYTHING During her DLSU stint, Cha Cruz is known for her versatility having played in almost all positions head coach Ramil De Jesus wanted her to be in. Skills, talent, heart, leadership and beauty, Cruz has it all.      MISS EVERYWHERE DLSU’s Dawn Macandili is arguably the best floor defender during her days in the UAAP. She’s all over the court diving for the ball or setting up a good transition for an attack for the Lady Spikers off the serve.      THE NINJA Mel Gohing is one of the best liberos during the late 2000s and early 2010’s with her cat-like reflexes while manning the floor. The Season 71 Rookie of the Year won four titles for DLSU.      THE CLOSER (Photo: Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News)  When you think about Aiza Maizo-Pontillas you can just imagine UST engaged in a long rally and leaning on this lefty to finish the play.   PAMAYWANG QUEEN Angge Tabaquero is UST’s standard when it comes to swag. She’s knows how to get into the Tigresses’ rivals’ heads with her signature hands-on-her-waist followed by a stare down after scoring a point.      PAGPAG QUEEN Maica Morada is one of Far Eastern University’s most dreaded attacker. Aside from her firepower she’s also known for her swag and her jersey-shaking antics.       QUEEN TAMARAW Rachel Anne Daquis is the undisputed Queen Tamaraw of FEU even after more than a decade since she delivered the school’s last UAAP title. Being the QUEEN, FEU had her jersey retired.     TAFT TOWER Mika Reyes is known as DLSU’s ‘Taft Tower’ for being a menace at the net.     NU TWIN TOWERS NU’s rise from the doldrums can be attributed to the arrival of the towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat.      MISS PHOTOGENIC Photographers are bewildered why Adamson University’s Jema Galanza seems to be always ready for the camera even while Adamson University is the middle of a battle. Photographers are sure get great shots of her all the time.   BAGYONG PABLO   Powerful, hardworking and relentless are the characteristics that best describe Myla Pablo during her time with NU.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2020

Basilan coach uses long break to study other MPBL teams

The grind never stops for Basilan-Jumbo Plastic amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 26th, 2020

MPBL: Nueva Ecija adds MVP Banal to its loaded line-up

Nueva Ecija continued its signing spree early this week. The Rice Vanguards have inked Gab Banal for the fourth season of the league backed by Chooks-to-Go. Head coach Charles Tiu confirmed the development. "It's a very big coup for us," said Tiu, who handled Banal in the past in Mighty Sports and Go for Gold. "He was a former MVP in our league and is a very good leader. "His work ethic is tremendous and he can do so many different things offensively, giving us versatility," he continued about the 6-foot-3 swingman. "He’s one guy we’ve always wanted and finally it can happen." Banal spent his first two years in the league with Bacoor City. During the Datu Cup, Banal posted norms of 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 6.4 assists to win the Most Valuable Player plum. The Strikers made it to the semis before being swept by Davao Occidental in the South semis. In the Lakan Cup, Banal had averages of 13.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per contest, once again leading Bacoor to the semis. However, a sprained left MCL made Banal miss Games Two and Three of the Strikers' series against Basilan. The Steel ended up advancing to the division finals. Banal remains grateful to Bacoor City for the two years he spent there. "Thank you for two great years of fun memories and experiences," the 29-year-old expressed. "Thank you Chaye Cabal-Revilla and Cong Strike Revilla for treating me as your own. Thank you to the awesome people of Bacoor for your undying support. "Bacoor City will always be in my heart." Banal joins the Gomez de Liaño brothers, Juan and Javi, and Renz Palma as the acquisitions so far of Nueva Ecija. Nueva Ecija posted a 10-20 record during the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season, finishing 11th in the Northern Division......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020

MPBL: Veteran Custodio proves worth in crucial win

LAMITAN CITY -- The veteran in Bonbon Custodio comes out in trying times. After being down by nine entering the payoff period of Game Two in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan South Division Finals, third-ranked Basilan rode the hot hands of Jhaps Bautista on a 14-1 run built on four treys and an assist to Jay Collado to regain the advantage, 69-65 with 4:31 left. Then came Custodio to the rescue when top seed Davao Occidental seemed to lose their bearings. "Hindi kami pwedeng mag-dwell sa thought na nakalamang na sila ulit eh. Balik lang sa sistema kaya nakabawi kami," said the 37-year-old veteran. In a span of 25 seconds, the 5-foot-11 scoring guard went coast-to-coast in two straight possessions to knot the game at 69-all with 3:18 left on the clock. But that was not his biggest shot of the game yet. Up by just a solitary point 52.6 seconds remaining, the University of the East product forced a switch, taking an isolation play against Collado as the former swiftly drained a bank shot in front of the burly center to give his side the lead for good, 79-76. "It's always good to have Bonbon because he is a veteran, he is so used to these moments. He doesn't crumble. Easily, we could have folded, but put the ball in Bonbon's hands, good things are gonna happen," said Tigers head coach Don Dulay. Moreover, Davao Occidental forced a do-or-die Game Three, surviving Basilan, 81-76. The 12-year pro posted eight points, six coming in the fourth quarter, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block, and a game-high plus-16. Custodio is glad that he has reliable teammates who can spark the team in an instant, just like seldom-used Richard Albo, who finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 clip. "Hindi naman kasi araw araw maganda laro ng lahat ng players kaya ngayon si Albo, maganda ang ipinakita, may opportunity siya kaya kinuha niya talaga." The rubber match will be on Saturday, at Davao's home turf. In the North Division Finals, Makati-Super Crunch forged a winner-take-all Game Three after toppling San Juan-Go for Gold behind closed doors, 91-88......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 12th, 2020

San Juan, Basilan inch closer to MPBL finals

Reigning champion San Juan-Go For Gold and Basilan-Jumbo Plastic turned back their respective opponents at the start of the divisional finals last Monday and moved a win away from a gigantic Chooks-To-Go/MPBL Lakan Season championship showdown......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 10th, 2020

Steel trounce Strikers in rubber, make South finals

Basilan-Jumbo Plastic essayed a huge 84-76 rubber match win over Bacoor and advanced to the Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season South Division finals over the weekend at the Strike Gym in Cavite......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 9th, 2020

Davao Occidental in Southern finals; Bacoor stays alive vs Basilan

Davao Occidental cruised to the finals while Bacoor struck back in the Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season last Thursday at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor City......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 7th, 2020

Strikers tie MPBL series vs. Basilan

Bacoor City--Bacoor struck back while Davao Occidental cruised to the finals in the Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Davao Season on Thursday at Strike Gymnasium here......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 6th, 2020

MPBL: Bacoor s passion for their club keeps their title hopes alive

Even in the undercard of Thursday night's South Semifinals game 2 between Bacoor and Basilan, the STRIKE Gymnasium in Baccor City was already packed to the gills. While Davao Occidental was busy eliminating Zamboanga, there was already a crush of people trying to jam themselves into the arena through the corner entrance. At the final buzzer there was an awkward moment when some fans tried to squeeze out the door while many other Bacoorenos were forcing themselves in. A man who seemed to be in charge of the traffic tried to close the door and prevent others from streaming in. But it was useless. Bacoor has fallen hard for their Strikers, and nothing could stop them from catching their team in a do-or-die home playoff game against Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic. Basilan took the first game, Bacoor had to have this one. The situation was a bit less chaotic from the VIP entrance, which leads to the stage behind one of the goals. From there the sight of so many Bacoor fans crammed into the arena could be properly beheld. The STRIKE Gym is a small arena, but on top of its first level of seating is a second tier. Both areas had every single square inch filled with humanity. Sure, the Strikers had their backs against the wall in this series, down 0-1 in this best-of-three, but some Bacoor fans literally had their backs against the wall as well. As in glued to the back windows and walls because there simply was no other place to be. On either side of the gym there are staircases with a view of the court. They were crammed as well, with Bacoor fans all looking to take a peek, no matter how obstructed, of their beloved team. The upper level of seating has a stainless steel railing in front. Fans were leaning on the railing, two or three deep, all around. Below them sat youngsters fixated on the action, clinging on to the lower bars of the railings. Many dangled legs over the edge. One wonders what would happen if one of them suddenly needed to go to the bathroom. These young urchins were pretty much trapped. In every MPBL game there is a DJ playing music and other sound effects to boost the atmosphere. Tonight his work can barely be heard, as the crowd itself makes an avalanche of noise. Bacoor fancies itself as the Marching Band Capital of the Philippines. There is a band in one corner, with a tuba sticking out into the air, playing lustily, even though this time there is nowhere to march. The home team races to a 20-6 first quarter lead, with the joint heaving with noise with every Bacoor basket. Bacoor fans choose passion over passiveness, roaring with every hustle play, and bombarding the Basilan coach with jeers of “EEE-YA-KIN” every time he complains to the referee. Mac Andaya is an obvious fan favorite. With his old testament beard paired with a messy man bun, the big man draws an extra-large helping of oohs and whenever he goes to the cup. The Strikers lead 43-21 at the half, with Basilan's offense in disarray. In the third quarter Striker King Destacamento executes a perfect putback jam, and underneath the din you can almost hear the rivets of the roof creak as they strain to hold the arena together in one piece. The Philippines has never really had a history of home-and-away sports. Basketball, volleyball and football have mostly been played in shared venues, where fan allegiance is split. Apart from a brave section of Basilan fans, everyone here tonight is cheering on the Strikers. Gilas games are home games, but they are mostly played in cavernous venues, with pricey tickets that only wealthy, “prawn sandwich” fans can afford. It seems that these fans would rather sit and watch than actively participate. The atmosphere is often wanting. But Bacoor fans, like many in MPBL communities, are blue collar, and the league is slaking their long-suppressed thirst for quality live hoops. And it happens in small, intimate bandboxes all over the country, where the cheering bounces off the walls and is amplified tenfold. This makes the MPBL playoff game is an experience unlike any other in Filipino hoops. There is a speedbump in the fourth quarter, as the visitors unleash a late run to cut the deficit to just seven with a minute and a half remaining. But when Bacoor marksman Michael Mabulac hauls down a crucial offensive board, the jugular is well and truly severed, and the party can begin. Final score: 80-69 Bacoor. What else is there left to do for the fans but stream out onto the court for selfies and hugs with the players. Bacoor is alive in the playoffs as the series goes 1-1. And best of all: as the higher seed, Bacoor fans get to do it all over again on Saturday in the deciding Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 6th, 2020

Tigers, Steel near finale

Davao Occidental-Cocolife and Basilan-Jumbo Plastic moved a win away from setting up a gigantic South Division finale after turning back their respective opponents in the MPBL Chooks-to-Go/Lakan Season semifinals opener Monday night at the RMC Petrogazz Gym in Davao City......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 3rd, 2020