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Holding the fort: The spirit of the barricades lives on

The barricaders didn’t retreat to their classrooms but embraced the streets, marching arm-in-arm with farmers, workers, jeepney drivers, echoing their call for national democracy. The post Holding the fort: The spirit of the barricades lives on appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerFeb 1st, 2021

Jovelyn Gonzaga: A soldier s heart

National team star Jovelyn Gonzaga continues to fulfill her duty as a soldier serving the locally stranded individuals (LSI) inside the Philippine Army camp in Taguig. Since the start of the lockdown, Gonzaga as well as other volleyball players and coaches, who are also enlisted military personnel, heeded the call in the war against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in different fronts as frontliners. The opposite hitter of the Army Lady Troopers in the Premier Volleyball League and Cignal in the Philippine Superliga has been on duty in Fort Bonifacio since the start of the community quarantine four months ago. Gonzaga in a lengthy but heartwarming post on her Instagram account shared her experience and realizations while on her tour of duty. “With this pandemic crippling our nation. I once again feel the importance and value of what we do as soldiers serving the country,” she wrote. “We are tasked to take care of the LSIs. And the inspiration I am getting every day on duty from our displaced countrymen despite of all the challenges surrounding their conditions is really remarkable.”         View this post on Instagram                   1/2 PROUD ARMY.. I remember the days when I was just starting my playing career. I was hesitant and full of doubt until I find my niche and understand my deeper why? Why am I doing these things? And where is passion coming from. All my life since I started playing volleyball, I always make it a point that my resiliency is always in check. Though there were some instances that I intend to give up? However, the desire in me to do better withstand all these challenges. That same resiliency and passion is what keeps me going until now. As a professional volleyball player and as a soldier. Serving the country is in my DNA, while playing for the country and as a soldier serving my countryman. With this pandemic crippling our nation. I once again feel the importance and value of what we do as a soldier in serving the country. We are tasked to take care of the LSI’s. And the inspiration I am getting every day on duty from out our displaced countrymen despite of all the challenges surrounding their conditions is really remarkable. And instead of me writing about them? I would rather write something from me and the lessons I’ve learned meeting them first hand. And this is my story. My regular day is training, duty and training. Sometimes go out for other stuff but most often times it’s me being a soldier and an athlete altogether. When we were call to duty in taking care of the LSI’s? Mixed emotions hit me. There’s excitement, pity and I would say fear of the unknown as we took on our new tour of duty within our territory. As we received our first batch of LSI’s. You can see in their eyes the struggles they’ve been through. However, you can also sense the sigh of relief from their actions that things will be better compared to their previous conditions. You can feel in the air the longingness of our LSI’s to go home and be with their families. Regardless of their uncertainties with regards to the acceptance of their home provinces on returning LSI’s. We all know that not all provinces are welcoming their LSI’s due to the danger of spreading Covid-19 in their respective places. @yourphilippinearmy To be continued..... A post shared by Jovelyn Gonzaga (@bionic_ilongga) on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:34pm PDT The Ilongga spiker said that she can also relate to the plight of the LSIs holed up in the camp while waiting for clearance to get back to their homes. “I remember when I was just new here in Manila. I am always looking forward to that opportunity that I can go home and visit my family. I know the struggle of being far from your family. But then again, I think, my condition is far away better than their current situation,” Gonzaga posted. Gonzaga continued by saying that the resiliency and the spark of hope in the eyes of the LSIs serves as her inspiration.            View this post on Instagram                   2/2 PROUD ARMY Longing to go home is somewhat I can personally relate. I remember when I was just new here in Manila. I am always looking forward to that opportunity that I can go home and visit my family. I know the struggle of being far from your family. But then again, I think, my condition is far away better than their current situation. This is where I draw my inspirations. These LSI’s desire to come home notwithstanding all the hassles and challenges are very admirable. This is where you will feel the value of having a family to come home to. The strong family ties we Filipinos have will always be the reason and the foundation of each and every LSI’s I met and will be meeting in the next coming days. The Filipino bayanihan spirit is very evident since no one is too selfish not to share what they have to help others. The resiliency I have and the toughness these LSI’s are showing is what made us Filipinos invincible amidst any circumstances. This experience I am in right now will always be my driving force in serving my country more. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Mabuhay tayong mga Filipino. @yourphilippinearmy Collab w/ @iamjlac ♥? A post shared by Jovelyn Gonzaga (@bionic_ilongga) on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:38pm PDT With positive cases still on the rise, LSIs in different holding facilities could be looking at an extended time away from their families. But rest assured that military personnel like Gonzaga will always be there to serve......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2020

Miss World Philippines Arnold Vegafria: Pageants are returning to normal

The global pandemic has greatly affected lives and enterprises, including pageant platforms on the national and international levels. In 2020, only a handful succeeded in holding their annual searches......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 16th, 2021

Philippine-Australia marks 75th Friendship Day with virtual filmfest

The Australian Embassy is holding a free and on-demand film festival featuring cinematic gems this weekend to commemorate the 75th Philippines-Australia Friendship Day. It is also the celebration of the continued legacy of mateship and bayanihan spirit of both countries......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 21st, 2021

Losing the sport spirit

The pandemic is taking too much from us. The time that it has stolen, the lives it has shortened, the opportunities that it has reduced are reshaping the future for everyone. Amongst all of us, although they are the most silent ones, it is the youth that may be most affected......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 5th, 2021

Bayanihan spirit lives on in tourism

What was supposed to be a year of record-breaking numbers for the Philippine tourism sector turned out to be one of the most challenging times it has ever faced......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 1st, 2021

Spirit of Christmas

This pandemic has turned the world and our lives upside down......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 24th, 2020

Spirit of Christmas Lives on at Araneta City

Despite the pandemic, the spirit of Christmas lives on at Araneta City!.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2020

Pagudpud cops give free ride to stranded residents due to Ulysses

LAOAG CITY, Nov. 11 (PIA) -- Bayanihan spirit lives as police force in the town of Pagudpud provides "Libreng Sakay" to stranded residents at Barangay Pancian on Wednesday due to Typhoon Ulysses......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 12th, 2020

Pagudpud cops give free ride to stranded residents due to Ulysses

LAOAG CITY, Nov. 11 (PIA) -- Bayanihan spirit lives as police force in the town of Pagudpud provides "Libreng Sakay" to stranded residents at Barangay Pancian on Wednesday due to Typhoon Ulysses......»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 12th, 2020

Northern Samar sends first batch of relief goods to ‘Rolly’ victims in Bicol

TACLOBAN CITY (PNA) – The provincial government of Northern Samar has delivered the first batch of relief augmentation to areas badly-hit by super typhoon Rolly in the Bicol Region. The trucks used in transporting the first batch of relief augmentation from the province of Northern Samar to areas hit by Super Typhoon Rolly (international name Goni) in the Bicol Region. The provincial social welfare and development office (PSWDO) on Saturday (Nov. 7, 2020) said the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes each received 500 sacks of rice, 200 boxes of assorted canned goods, 200 boxes of bottled water, and 100 boxes each of cereal drink and powdered milk. (Photo courtesy of Northern Samar PSWDO/ PNA/ MANILA BULLETIN) In a phone interview on Saturday, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Head Jenny Darish, said they have sent eight truckloads of essential goods to the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes on November 6. Each province received 500 sacks of rice, 200 boxes of assorted canned goods, 200 boxes of bottled water, and 100 boxes each of cereal drink and powdered milk. “Northern Samar is also regularly hit by typhoons during this season so it is easy for us to empathize with the plight of the people in Bicol. The Bayanihan spirit lives,” Darish said. The provincial government thanked all various groups and private individuals who extended cash and in-kind donations, including the Philippine Coast Guard, Boyax Cargo, construction companies, Solid M, and JUPA, for the logistics support. “The overwhelming support and fast response from the people of Northern Samar shows us what we can achieve if we work together. We were recently battered by ‘Tisoy’ and ‘Ambo’, so the experience of our Bicolano brothers and sisters is not just a news we read online but a reality we regularly face,” Governor Edwin Ongchuan said in a press statement. The PSWDO is still accepting cash or in-kind donations. Drop-off points will be at the PSWDO office in Dalakit village in Catarman town or the different municipal social welfare and development offices in the province. “Rolly” was the strongest typhoon in the country this year, making four landfalls, and leaving at least 22 people dead while damage to agriculture and infrastructure has reached over PHP14 billion. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

Afghanistan mourns after 22 killed in university attack

Stunned students demonstrated outside Kabul University on Tuesday after at least 22 people were killed in a brutal, on-campus attack claimed by the Islamic State group. A journalist walks inside of a damaged class of the National Legal Training center, a day after gunmen stormed Kabul university in Kabul on November 3, 2020. – Stunned students demonstrated outside Kabul University on November 3 after at least 22 people were killed in a brutal, on-campus attack claimed by the Islamic State group. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) Holding banners stating: “Stop Killing Us”, the small gathering came as Afghanistan observed a national day of mourning and the first funerals were expected. Monday’s assault at the popular university near central Kabul saw three attackers — one of whom blew himself up — rampage through the campus, shooting students in their classrooms. IS also claimed a similar attack on an educational centre in Kabul less than two weeks ago that killed 24 people. Afghan security forces have been grappling with surging violence that has only worsened in recent months despite the government holding peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar. The insurgent group have said they were not involved in Monday’s attack, but Vice President Amrullah Saleh blamed them and their supporters in Pakistan. The Taliban have in turn blamed “evil elements” that have “sought refuge” with the Kabul administration, accusing the government of harbouring and assisting militants. Fraidoon Ahmadi, a 23-year-old student, told AFP on Monday he was in class when gunfire broke out. “We were very scared and we thought it could be the last day of our lives… boys and girls were shouting, praying and crying for help,” Ahmadi said. He said he and other students were besieged for more than two hours before being rescued. Images posted online showed what appeared to be the bodies of slain students lying by desks and chairs. Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy who helped bring the warring Taliban and Kabul government together for talks, urged the two sides to accelerate a political settlement. “This barbaric attack is NOT an opportunity for the government and the Taliban to score points against each other. There is a common enemy here,” he tweeted.  “Deny ISIS or any other terrorist the space to carry out these inhumane acts,” he added, using another name for the terrorist group. President Ashraf Ghani has vowed to take revenge for the assault, with an investigation underway to determine how the gunmen entered the university with weapons. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Clashes in Barcelona over virus restrictions

Protesters clashed with police in central Barcelona on Friday after hundreds gathered to demonstrate against new coronavirus restrictions, including a curfew and a ban on leaving the city over the holiday weekend.  A protester throws crowd control barriers towards members of the Catalan regional police force Mossos d’Esquadra as clashes erupt during a demonstration against new coronavirus restrictions in Barcelona on October 30, 2020. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP) A spokesman for the Mossos d’Esquadra regional police told AFP up to 700 protesters attended the rally which later turned violent when a group of some 50 people “began throwing dangerous objects” at police, prompting them to try and break up the crowd.  An AFPTV correspondent in the central Plaza Sant Jaume saw scores of demonstrators wearing face masks, many chanting “freedom”, hurling rocks and crowd control barriers at police in full riot gear as the surrounding streets filled with smoke from burning barricades. Sirens wailed throughout the city centre as police sought to disperse the protesters with batons and firefighters hosed down fires in several large wheelie bins. Twenty police officers were injured in the clashes and twelve people were arrested, the regional police said on Twitter.  At least two establishments were looted and several police vehicles damaged, it added. A protest in the northern Spanish city of Burgos also turned violent when several dozen young protestors began throwing bottles and stones at police and torching rubbish bins, the Diario de Burgos news website reported.  “What’s happening in Burgos tonight only brings more pain and destruction. Anger won’t get us out of here,” tweeted Francisco Igea, number two in the Castilla y Leon region.  Despite the many restrictions imposed in Spain since July, when the number of cases began rising again, infections have spiralled with the virus claiming more than 35,000 lives and infecting more than 1.1 million people.  Almost all of Spain’s regions have imposed border closures in the hope of avoiding a new lockdown, but in Catalonia, where bars and restaurants have been closed since mid-October, the authorities have imposed extra restrictions.  Residents have been barred from leaving towns and cities over the weekend with police on Friday checking drivers on the main roads leading out of Barcelona......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Save the Children launches fund-raising drive Sunday

Believing that education will empower children, especially those who are in need, to look forward to a better future, a child rights group will launch “eSave Natin ang Pasko,” an online fund-raising campaign to support their learning needs Sunday. “This online fundraising campaign encourages everyone to unite in saving the Christmas spirit through a series of joyous and meaningful activities to provide joy and hope to children,” the group said. “Even if classes are conducted through distance learning or will resume via face-to-face, millions of children will still need our support as they continue to be deprived of their right to education since their families do not have the means to support their learning needs,” said SCP Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot. Muyot, a former Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary, said that education empowers children, especially those in dire situations. “Supporting their learning needs will save their lives and their future,” he added. When classes formally opened last Oct. 5 amid the COVID-19 situation in the country, SCP said that millions of students, especially in public schools, have been experiencing major challenges such as the lack of access to learning materials and Internet connection. To help the students who struggle to learn from home, SCP said that the proceeds of the Christmas fundraising campaign will support the learning needs of children in poor households in Metro Manila, typhoon-stricken places in Eastern Visayas, and the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. “It will also support children with disabilities, those from indigenous communities and from hard to reach areas,” SCP added. SCP said that e-Save Natin ang Pasko also promotes the importance of a nurturing home through the “Mapagkalingang Tahanan” advocacy where every member of the family, especially children, receives the support they need so they learn, survive, and are protected. The “Mapagkalingang Tahanan” emphasizes the critical role of parents, guardians, and caregivers in the continued learning of children and aims to provide them the knowledge and skills to facilitate their children’s learning......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Help on the way

Two PBA referees are coming to reinforce the officiating pool in the Clark bubble but even as they’re not expected to arrive until next week, commissioner Willie Marcial is confident of holding the fort with seven arbiters up to Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Koepka among those who have to catch up in FedEx Cup

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer The question was perplexing to Brooks Koepka, perhaps because it was missing specific context or because it takes a lot to make him worry. He was asked going into the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head if he felt any sense of urgency. “Urgency for what?” he replied. Koepka missed three months after a knee injury in October when he slipped on wet concrete at the CJ Cup in South Korea and had to withdraw. When he returned, he played five times — his only top-20 finish was a tie for 17th in Saudi Arabia — and then the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months. Having played only four PGA Tour events, he was No. 213 in the FedEx Cup standings. The only time he didn’t make it to East Lake for the FedEx Cup finale was in 2015, when he missed a month with an ankle injury. He finished 35th. Koepka was unaware that history is working against him this year. In the last 10 years, Jim Furyk is the only player to be outside the top 200 in the FedEx Cup standings with nine events remaining and reach the postseason. “I just go play golf, just keep doing what I’m doing,” Koepka said that day. “I feel like I’m playing good, so eventually it will come.” He closed with a 65 at Harbour Town to finish seventh and moved up 56 spots to No. 148. And then he withdrew the following week from the Travelers Championship out of caution when his caddie, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for the coronavirus. He returns to the Workday Charity Open this week having slipped seven spots to No. 155. Six tournaments are on the schedule between now and the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Furyk in 2016 turned it around with a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. Only one major and one World Golf Championship remain on the schedule. Koepka has company in that regard. British Open champion Shane Lowry spent most of his time on the European Tour late last year and into the first month of 2020, so he has only seven starts on the PGA Tour and is at No. 148. C.T. Pan, who played in the Presidents Cup, has missed seven of nine cuts since January and is No. 182. Sergio Garcia is at No. 122. One week can change everything. Dustin Johnson, who missed the entire fall recovering from knee surgery, was off to a slow start before the pandemic and missed the cut at Colonial upon his return. Two weeks later, he won the Travelers Championship and moved up to No. 22. Koepka still has the World Golf Championship at TPC Southwind, where he won last year, and the PGA Championship, where he tries to become the first player to win three straight times in stroke play. There is time. Plus, he's not one to sweat such matters. BONES ON THE BAG Matt Fitzpatrick came over from England for the restart of the PGA Tour, and caddie Billy Foster stayed behind. The idea was for Fitzpatrick to get used to the protocols, and then Foster would join him for the World Golf Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, and the PGA Championship in San Francisco. Fitzpatrick used Cayce Kerr for three tournaments. And then he got an offer he couldn’t refuse for two weeks at Muirfield Village: Jim “Bones” Mackay, the longtime looper for Phil Mickelson who now does course commentary for NBC Sports. “I was absolutely shocked,” Fitzpatrick said. “Everyone knows his place in the game and how well he’s done. Even just walking around here, people are excited to see him back and on tour. For me, I was very taken aback.” It wasn’t an accident. Fitzpatrick has an endorsement with Workday, whose CEO knows Mackay and suggested he reach out to Fitzpatrick. They will be working together the next two weeks at the Workday Charity Open and the Memorial. LET’S PLAY TWO Muirfield Village is hosting different PGA Tour events in consecutive weeks, which hasn’t happened in 63 years. The last time was in 1957, when Roberto de Vicenzo won the All American Open against an 83-man field at Tam O’Shanter Club in Illinois. Dick Mayer won the World Championship of Golf on the same course a week later. That was the 10th straight season that the All American Open and World Championship of Golf were held at Tam O’Shanter in successive weeks. Lloyd Mangrum was the only player to win both events in the same year (1948). According to the PGA Tour, there was one other tournament held on the same course in back-to-back weeks. That was in 1956, when the Dallas Centennial Open and the Texas International Open were held at Preston Hollow to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of Dallas being founded. Both events were never played again. DRIVE ON Maybe some of the PGA Tour players should borrow the “Drive On” slogan from the LPGA Tour. That’s all they’ve been doing since the restart last month in Texas. Russell Knox drove his RV from the north Florida coast to Colonial, and then back toward the Atlantic coast to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. From there, he and his wife went north to Connecticut to the Travelers Championship. At that point, they hired a driver (they were passengers) for the trip to Detroit, and now they’re in Ohio. But they had company. One of his closest friends on tour, Brian Stuard, also bought an RV. “We’ve been traveling along with him,” Stuard said. “Decided to do it and really enjoy it so far. Not sure if we’re going to continue to do that. Those were some long drives. But it’s worth it once you get it there.” And then there’s Viktor Hovland. The Norwegian played at Oklahoma State and still lives in Stillwater, so he decided to take the four-hour drive to Colonial. “Then I just kept on thinking, ‘Well, what if I just take my car to all these tournaments?’ I looked it up, it’s 16 hours to Hilton Head. It’s 13 hours to Connecticut. ... Yeah, been having a lot of fun so far.” He drove through the night from Fort Worth, Texas, to Hilton Head and didn’t feel great when he arrived. He took in some views from Connecticut to Detroit. “It’s really nice just driving through New York and Pennsylvania,” he said. “It’s really hilly and a lot of cool views on the way.” DIVOTS Matt Fitzpatrick is hopeful fans will return, especially for the Masters — not so much for him, but his parents. “I know my parents really want to come watch that one,” he said. ... The Senior British Open, canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will remain at Sunningdale next year. ... After his victory in Detroit, Bryson DeChambeau was listed as the betting favorite over Rory McIlroy in the three majors this year. STAT OF THE WEEK The last three PGA Tour events were won by players from the top 10 in world — Webb Simpson (9) at Hilton Head, Dustin Johnson (6) at Hartford and Bryson DeChambeau (10) at Detroit. The last time that happened was in the summer of 2018 when Johnson (1) won the Canadian Open, Justin Thomas (3) won the Bridgestone Invitational and Brooks Koepka (4) won the PGA Championship. FINAL WORD “I’ll be devastated if I don’t play well.” — Charles Barkley on playing the American Century Championship for celebrities......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 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

DID YOU KNOW? Ben Mbala wanted to go to Ateneo

Ben Mbala spent three years of his life undergoing residency for De La Salle University. Once he was eligible, however, he left no doubt that he was worth the wait, teaming up with Jeron Teng to lead the Green Archers to a dominant 16-1 title run in UAAP 79. At the same time, the 6-foot-8 center was the league's undisputed top individual player - posting per game counts of 20.6 points in 54 percent shooting, 16.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 assists. He wound up more than 20 statistical points ahead of his closest competitor. A year later, he won his second straight MVP and carried the Taft-based team to just a win shy of back-to-back championships. For sure, Mbala is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, La Salle Green Archers. Way back when, though, if only he had his way, he wouldn't even have been clad in green and white. "Ateneo was my first choice. I am going to be honest," he said, with a laugh, in the inaugural episode of The Prospects Pod last Friday. Yes, La Salle wasn't "Big Ben's" first choice - and even worse for their faithful, he wanted to go with the enemy. Asked why that was so, he answered, "A lot of their bigs were graduating and I was looking for a team where I can have a lot of stability and get playing time." He then continued, "Going to La Salle, they had [Arnold] Van Opstal, Norbert Torres, Yutien Andrada, [Jason] Perkins. I gotta go over them and compete to have playing time so I was like, I'm gonna go to Ateneo." By that point, all of Greg Slaughter, Poy Erram, and Justin Chua were no longer in blue and white. Already a two-way force in Southwestern University, Mbala opened eyes of the big leagues and the big programs in Metro Manila and just about everybody had interest in him. Ultimately, it came down to two choices - the Green Archers and the Blue Eagles. Apparently, he even got to visit an Ateneo practice. "I remember seeing you in one of our practices, actually," then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena recalled. "After 5 to 10 minutes in the office across that library, I went to the gym. They told me to dunk and I didn't stretch yet so I just made a two-handed dunk and they were like, 'Woah. Yeah,'" the Cameroonian replied. Imagine a team with Ravena and Mbala. Just imagine that. History had other plans, however, and the now 25-year-old wound up with the Green Archers. "Coach Yayoy, one day, he called me to go to La Salle and I was like, 'What do you mean? I want to go to Ateneo,'" he shared, talking about SWU head coach Yayoy Alcoseba. "But he was like, 'You go to La Salle. It's going to be better for you because I know people there." Fast forward to now and, of course, Mbala has no regrets - the Animo spirit lives in him through and through. As he put it, "At the end of the day, I feel like going over there and competing with all those bigs made me improve. When you et there, you can't just lay down and say I'm going to wait for my turn." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 6th, 2020

Better roads mean better lives

After connecting the north and south of Metro Manila via the opening of the P70-billion Skyway Stage 3 project, San Miguel Corp. hopes to further decongest the metropolis by linking this time the east and west through the proposed P95.4-billion, 19.4-kilometer Pasig River Expressway project......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 21st, 2021

The West, the East, and Afghanistan

The scenes from Kabul airport seem straight out of the World War Z movie thousands of people desperately running for their lives, squeezing themselves into jet bridges, and climbing departing airplanes to escape a country that is now back in the hands of the Taliban......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 18th, 2021

Synergy Grid to raise up to P28 billion from share sale

Synergy Grid and Development Philippines Inc., the listed holding firm of Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr., eyes to raise P17 billion to P28 billion from its planned share sale in the fourth quarter......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 18th, 2021