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Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin express desire to meet Filipino fans in person

In a virtual media conference held Monday, Korean superstars and Smart Communications ambassadors Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin revealed that they wanted to meet their Filipino fans who have been showing their unparalleled support for their projects......»»

Category: entertainmentSource: thestandard thestandardFeb 23rd, 2021

Pinoy wrestling stars TJ Perkins, Jeff Cobb headline PWR: Homecoming this October

Sparks will fly when the world’s best Filipino pro wrestlers come home and clash this October at PWR Special: Homecoming, the biggest local pro wrestling event in the country to date. Two top Pinoy grapplers in former WWE and current Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) star “The Fil-Am Flash” TJ Perkins, better known through his ring name TJP, and NJPW and Ring of Honor (ROH) star “Mr. Athletic” Jeff Cobb will be flying home to wrestle in the premier Philippine wrestling company’s historic event on October 12, 2019 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent. TJP, a former WWE Cruiserweight Champion, winner of the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic, and former Impact Wrestling X Division Champion, is set to face off against former PWR and Philippine Excellence Champion “Mr. Philippine Wrestling” Jake de Leon, as announced on PWR Live: Championship Spirit last July. Cobb, a former NJPW NEVER Openweight Champion, ROH Television Champion, and Lucha Underground Champion, announced his participation in PWR Special: Homecoming at PWR Renaissance 2019 last August 25. Also announced for PWR Homecoming is former PWR Champion “Beautiful” Billy Suede, who was last seen in the promotion in 2017. “We’re committed to advancing the Philippine wrestling scene the best way we can, and there’s no better way to do that than to bring home some of the world’s most famous Filipino talent,” said PWR president Red Ollero. “TJP and Jeff Cobb, as well as other international Filipino wrestlers, have long expressed a desire to wrestle in their home country, and we’re also happy to give them that opportunity for themselves and the Pinoy fans as well,” he added. Tickets for PWR Homecoming are already available through the PWR Facebook page, starting at PhP 1,499 for Bronze, PhP 1,999 for Silver, PhP 2,499 for Gold, and PhP 3,499 for Gold seats with limited meet and greet passes. PWR Homecoming is presented by ABS-CBN Vertis Tent, Mow’s Group, NetworkRentals, Set & Stage, and Immerse. For more info and updates on PWR Homecoming, like Philippine Wrestling Revolution on Facebook at facebook.com/PHWrestlingRevo, and follow PWR on Twitter and Instagram at @pwrofficial.   About Philippine Wrestling Revolution PWR is the Philippines’ premier wrestling company, established in 2014 by a group of individuals who expressed a desire to singlehandedly found a pro wrestling industry in the country. Since then, PWR has rapidly grown and evolved, putting on a quality local pro wrestling product every month since 2015. PWR has also drawn the attention of the rest of the pro wrestling world, including WWE, consistently importing regional and international stars and exporting quality homegrown talent abroad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

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.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

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

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 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

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

Look who& rsquo;s eager to crash land on Philippines

A week after she was officially unveiled as Smart’s latest international endorser, joining actor Hyun Bin who was presented in June as envoy of the telco’s Signature campaign, Son Ye-jin once again delighted her Filipino fans when the behind-the-scenes footage of her TVC was presented to the media on Monday......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 10th, 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

Now showing: Cinema Drive-In

As people adopt new habits apt for the changing times, businesses are also compelled to innovate and deliver new ways for everyone to experience the activities they have always enjoyed. One of these is recapturing the essence and joy of watching a film inside the halls of a cinema. While movie theaters still have yet to open, SM Cinema gives its patrons the perfect opportunity to see upcoming films through its newest out-of-home entertainment experience, the “SM Cinema Drive-in: Movies at Sundown”. A throwback to the good old days of drive-in theaters, SM Cinema relives this experience for a new generation to enjoy, bringing them a fresh avenue for a #SafeAndFunMovieWatching crusade from the comfort of their cars. Opening at SM City Pampanga Amphitheater, SM Cinema’s “Movies at Sundown” allows guests to watch movies on the big screen while observing social distancing rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). Starting today, Friday, July 31, 2020, it will open to the general public featuring the movies’ “Train to Busan 2: Peninsula” and “My Spy. The “SM Cinema Drive-in: Movies at Sundown” experience A first in the Philippines, SM Cinema’s drive-in theater takes Filipino viewers to a new horizon of movie-watching. Guests will be assigned their own parking spots to be guided by traffic marshalls. Once settled, spectators can see the film of their choice on a 20m x 8m screen raised 3-feet above the ground, and will be asked to tune in to a specific frequency on their car’s FM radio to broadcast the audio straight into their vehicles. Guests can also choose the 6:30PM or 8:50PM schedules from July 31 to August 2. In the succeeding weeks, schedules will be every Thursday to Sundays at 6:45PM. And what’s a drive-in cinema without movie snacks? For a ticket price of only P400 per person, this gives viewers the chance to relish in a new cinematic experience paired with a free Regular Popcorn, Bottled Water, and Beef Franks from SnackTime. A #SafeAndFunMovieWatching for Filipinos Optimizing the best view for all guests, two (2) persons can be inside the car and a maximum of four (4) guests will be allowed. Attendees must also be between the ages 21 and 59, pursuant to the safety guidelines set by the IATF. For added safety, viewers will also be asked to stay inside their vehicles with their masks on and practice social distancing all throughout the duration of the movie. Tickets for SM Cinema’s “Movies at Sundown” must be purchased online in advance at www.smtickets.com to ensure an uninterrupted viewing experience. No tickets will be sold at the venue, and viewers are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before their scheduled screening. “At SM Cinema, we have always explored new dimensions in film screenings to give our viewers the best movie-watching experience they deserve. Now that new norms have come to us, we do our best to meet our audience where they’re at, all while presenting a safe and innovative movie entertainment setup that’s a first in the country,” said Ruby Ann Reyes, SM Cinema’s Vice President for Marketing. As a household name in film screening, SM Cinema brings back to its audience the joy of seeing movies on screen as they introduce a new way for people to catch their blockbuster favorites. Now available at SM City Pampanga—and soon in five other branches nationwide— catch the next big titles at the “SM Cinema Drive-in: Movies at Sundown” starting today, Friday, July 31, 2020 at SM City Pampanga. Purchase your tickets online via www.smtickets.com. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 1st, 2020

NBA and Titan announce multiyear merchandising partnership in the Philippines

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, July 23, 2020 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Titanomachy International, Inc. (Titan), the Philippines’ leading basketball specialty concept store, announced today a multiyear merchandising partnership to relaunch the official online NBA Store in the Philippines.   Operated by Titan, NBAStore.com.ph will go live Thursday, Aug. 6 and will provide fans across the Philippines with access to official NBA products on all mobile devices.  NBAStore.com.ph will offer a comprehensive selection of authentic NBA merchandise from all 30 teams, including jerseys, shirts, footwear, headwear, outerwear, accessories, and equipment from brands including Nike, Jordan Brand, Mitchell & Ness, New Era, Herschel, Spalding and Stance.   “Our partnership with Titan provides an exciting opportunity to engage and deliver an enhanced digital retail experience to NBA fans in the Philippines,” said Lesley Rulloda, NBA Asia Associate Vice President of Global Merchandising.  “We look forward to providing passionate Filipino fans with unprecedented access to authentic NBA products through the relaunch of the league’s online store.” “At Titan, our mission is to inspire consumers to love the game through the best basketball products, stories and experiences,” said Mike Ignacio, Managing Director of Titanomachy International, Inc.  “Our newly-forged partnership with the NBA will enable us to cater to a wider range of Filipino basketball fans and equip them with new ways to express their love for their favorite teams, players and league.” As the league’s 25th branded international online store, NBAStore.com.ph will offer special collections and exclusive product releases highlighted by locally designed apparel.  During the launch, NBAStore.com.ph will showcase the NBA Philippines Tees Collection, featuring four unique designs inspired by the country’s premier NBA fanbase and passion for the game of basketball. Fans can visit www.nbastore.com.ph and sign up for the newsletter to get access to exclusive offers on authentic NBA merchandise, and follow NBAStore.com.ph on Facebook and Instagram for more information on NBA product launches and brand highlights.   Filipinos can also watch NBA Republika Huddle on the NBA Philippines Facebook page, designed as a platform for local influencers, sports personalities and fans to discuss the latest events and happenings around the league. For all the latest NBA news and updates, visit www.nba.com and follow NBA Philippines on Facebook and Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2020

Meet Onassis Parungao, the first Filipino to compete in the UFC

Most Filipino mixed martial arts fans know of Mark Muñoz and Brandon Vera, arguably the two most popular Pinoy-blooded fighters to compete in the UFC.  More avid fans will know of the likes of Dave Galera, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva, a trio of Team Lakay standouts who all made it onto the Octagon.  More recently, local stars like Rolando Dy, Jenel Lausa, and CJ De Tomas all proudly wore the Philippines’ colors on their UFC kits.  The distinction of being the first-ever Filipino blooded fighter to compete in the UFC however, belongs to one Onassis Parungao.  Born in Spain to a father from Baliuag, Bulacan and a mother from Spain, Parungao grew up in the United States and competed at UFC 7 back in 1995, defeating Francesco Maturi by strikes in the first round.  Speaking on The Hitlist vodcast, Parungao shed some light on how he got on to the UFC during the early days of MMA.  Parungao, who was 24 years old at the time, studied Tung Kung Kalan or Arnis de Mano before taking up Judo, wrestling, and Kung Fu.  “I was watching it and you know back then, because of the rules and no weight classes, no gloves, I was doing- you know got in a lot of street fights being a Navy kid,” Parungao explained. “So I have that sill here (motions to chest), I wanna get out and I wanna do it, and then I realized ‘Hey maybe I can try that.’” Parungao also admitted that he was hoping that his heritage could somehow help him earn a spot in the tournament.  “To tell you the truth, I knew that there wasn’t a Filipino guy there so I was banking on that they would let me in there, and just all the stars aligned and they just worked. It wasn’t like I had all this fame, they didn’t just have one to apply, so I saw an opportunity, we wrote a letter and I took it.”  In his lone UFC appearance, Parungao took to the Octagon wearing a white shirt that had “Philippines” on the back.  Back then, when the UFC was still starting, one of the things that they did to hype up the competitors was to “exaggerate” their records and accomplishments, so to speak. Parungao was billed as a “Pintakasi champion”.  “I’m not a Pintakasi champion, my teacher was,” Parungao clarified. “But I think they said certain things to hype the fighters up. I wanna get that on record, that I never claimed to be that.”  Following his UFC win, Parungao went on to compete two more times, before retiring quite early in his career. Parungao explained that he had received offers to compete in Japan for the legendary Pancrase promotion, but the distractions outside of competition ultimately dissuaded him from doing so.  “I just got married and then there was this guy named Takeya Oitate, the guy was offering me contracts and money to come and fight in Pancrase and all that stuff, and I’m like I kinda wanna do it, but in Japan, you have bathhouses, there’s girls there and I’ll be fighting and stuff like that, and in my early 20s, all these testosterone, I just got married you know, you’re gonna put me around other fighters and girls and all this other stuff? Like, no way. I didn’t wanna do that.”  Parungao continued to compete in kickboxing tournaments, but admits to having regrets over calling it a career after just three professional MMA bouts.  “Yes, I have some regrets, I do,” he said. “I’m 50 now, but I still feel really strong, you know. I mean, put me in a match against another 50-year-old, that would be fair.” “But to answer your question, I’ve done all these Filipino martial arts, I’ve done all this fighting, I’ve done all this sparring, I was a fighter first and then my Sifu for Chinese martial arts turned me into a martial artist. I don’t wanna say that made me lesser, it just turned me into someone that didn’t need to prove it as much. But I do have some regrets like I feel like I could, you know I never stop training, I still will go to a gym and spar and roll with guys and just like MMA has evolved and improved, so have I,” Parungao added. Parungao remains a martial artist to this day, as he owns and operates the Cheng Yee Kung Fu School in Southeastern Connecticut......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

10 things that make Alyssa Valdez phenomenal

Alyssa Valdez has arguably made the biggest impact in Philippine volleyball.   Her skills, passion and charisma endeared her to volleyball supporters, purists or casual fans, from all walks of life. She brings energy and leadership to every team that she’s joined. Valdez draws a huge crowd every time she plays. Valdez is the poster girl of the sport that for years struggled to draw mainstream attention in a nation which considers basketball as its biggest sporting event. The 27-year old pride of San Juan, Batangas is the face of local volleyball. So on her birthday today, let’s look at some of the things that makes the Phenom really phenomenal.   Two-time UAAP women’s champion Valdez is Ateneo de Manila University’s undisputed Queen Eagle. Talks about the Lady Eagles’ breakthrough championship will not be complete without the mention of her name. After two years of bridesmaid finishes, Ateneo bagged its first-ever UAAP title in 2014 after beating the thrice-to-beat De La Salle University in four games in the Finals despite leading a young band of Lady Eagles playing under the new system of Thai coach Tai Bundit. The following year, Ateneo, with Valdez at the helm, retained its crown in a tournament-sweeping fashion.      Three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Her skills during her collegiate career stood out among her peers. Valdez’s effort was rewarded with three Most Valuable Player awards in Season 76, Season 77 and in her last playing year in Season 78 in 2016. She also pocketed the Season 76 Finals MVP award.   Young phenom Valdez didn’t build her reputation overnight. It was her hard work and effort that brought her where she is right now. She was still a diamond in the rough when she was recruited by University of Sto. Tomas in a regional meet. But the Espana-based squad polished Valdez into a real gem of a player. Valdez, backed by a powerful lineup that featured the likes of Kim Fajardo and Jaja Santiago, won three straight UAAP girls’ titles and in the process collected three season MVPs. She was also named UAAP high school athlete of the year twice.        National team mainstay With her talents, dedication and good work ethics, Valdez has been a mainstay with the national team. Her first tour of duty was in 2008 when she represented the country in the Asian Youth Championship held in Pasig City. She joined the PHI Team in the 2014 FIVB Southeast Asian Zone qualifier in Vietnam. In 2015, she donned the tricolors for the Asian U-23 Championship and on the same year saw action in the country’s return in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore after a decade of absence. Since then Valdez participated in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur and 2019 Manila SEA Games. She also took part in the 2017 Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.     2015 SEA Games flagbearer Valdez also carries the honor as being the first-ever volleyball player to become the PHI flag-bearer in the SEA Games. She marched holding the national color in front of Team Philippines during the traditional parade of nations inside the OCBC Arena in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games.   Accomplished commercial league star She has been collecting commercial league titles since high school starting from the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball League. Valdez was also successful in the different conferences of the defunct V-League, racking up championships and individual accolades. In the Premier Volleyball League, she powered Creamline to three titles including a sweep of the Season 2 Reinforced and Open Conferences in 2018. She won three conference MVP awards.      Import abroad International leagues took notice of Valdez’s talents and charm so it’s not surprising that she landed offers to play abroad. Valdez played as an import in Thailand for 3BB Nakornnont from 2016 to 2017. After her stint in Thailand, Valdez flew to Taiwan to play for Attack Line.   Host, Actress, TV personality Valdez is a regular fixture in different sports shows in ABS-CBN S+A. She’s a host, courtside reporter and a game analyst.   Valdez also had a few showbiz stints. She appeared in some Kapamilya teleserye including a cameo in ‘And I Love You So’ in 2016 alongside Julia Barretto and Miles Ocampo and in the movie ‘My Letters to Happy’ with by TJ Trinidad and Glaiza De Castro.    Aside from her TV and movie career, Valdez is also one of the most recognizable athlete product endorsers.   Social media influencer She is also one of the most popular Filipino athlete on social media. As of posting, Valdez has 1.9 million Twitter followers, 1.3 million followers on Instagram and her YouTube channel has more than 76,000 subscribers.   Featured in the Olympics Channel website While the likes of Sisi Rondina, Jaja Santiago and Bryan Bagunas were featured in the FIVB website, Valdez’s impact on Philippine Volleyball was highlighted in a feature article in no less than the Olympic Channel website. The article touched about her humble beginnings to her meteoric rise and why she is regarded as the nation’s brightest star in the sport. These are just some of the things take make Valdez a true pride of our nation in the sport Happy birthday, Alyssa!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020

Smart to release another Hyun Bin TVC

As Korean culture continues to make big waves in the Philippines, Smart’s newest face, South Korean star Hyun Bin, appreciates the mobile network’s part in bringing Korean entertainment closer to Filipino fans......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2020

Thai BL superstars treat fans in biggest online meet

Filipino fans of the popular Boys Love (BL) phenomenon in Thailand can now be part of the biggest online meet and greet of BL stars worldwide......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 20th, 2020

Filipino-American MMA star Mark Muñoz recalls retirement bout in Manila

In 2015, Filipino mixed martial arts fans’ prayers were answered when the UFC, finally brought the legendary Octagon to the Philippines.  UFC Fight Night Manila was headlined by Frankie Edgar and Urijah Faber, two former world champions and two of the world’s best at the time.  But while the main event was indeed on worthy of a pay-per-view card, Pinoy fans flocked to the Mall of Asia Arena to see one of their own compete in the Octagon for the very last time.  The UFC’s inaugural card in Manila also featured the retirement bout of Filipino-American Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz.  (READ ALSO: Mark Muñoz ends career on the highest of notes) Muñoz was 37 at the time, and was already a veteran in the UFC, having fought 14 times for the North American promotion. During his peak in the UFC, the California-native won seven out of eight fights and came within a win away from becoming a title contender, before losing to eventual middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman.  Following the loss to Weidman, Munoz went on to drop three of his next four bouts.  In the final fight of his MMA career, Muñoz had the chance to go out on top and retire in front of his fellow Filipinos. In front of over 13,000 strong, Muñoz did just that, beating Luke Barnatt via unanimous decision and announcing his retirement durung the post-fight speech.  (READ ALSO: The MMA community reacts to Mark Munoz's final fight and retirement) On an episode of The Hit List Vodcast, Muñoz recalled that night and what it meant for him to end his career that way.  “Oh man. I would cherish that night forever,” Muñoz said. “Even when I came to the Philippines early and I visited my family, I still have four generations of my family still there and it was so cool to see my whole family and just to have the support there from everybody. It was amazing and for me, you know, I just felt the love.” “I loved it. And when I walked out, I heard just people cheering and as I was walking out, I slapped somebody’s hand and I started crying you know. Like, whoah, that’s crazy, I’m getting ready to fight and you know like, dude that’s nuts. For me to be able to have that impact on people because they love the sport I love and I’m able to do it in a high level, it made me just wanna give,” he continued.  Following the hard-fought three-round victory, Muñoz addressed the Pinoy crowd and gave a heartfelt message, thanking his fans and then expressing his desire to help the Philippines out in terms of wrestling, an aspect that has long been deemed lacking or inadequate among Filipino mixed martial artists.  “Like I said before, when I got on the microphone, they handed the microphone to me and they never do that, so when they handed the mic to me, I told everybody that I wanna go back to the Philippines and I wanna help in any way I can and so, right now I’m actually building a website that people could access from all around the world, so it’s a wrestling website and I have the best people on there.  Muñoz’s commitment to helping Filipino wrestlers remains to this day, saying that he would gladly fly out to the motherland if he was asked to do so.  “I have my wrestling room where you could have the capability of getting on there and learning from me, and if someone wants to bring me for a seminar out there, I’ll come. In a heartbeat. I’d love to go back to the Philippines and help my kababayan. Just be able to support and help everybody I can,” he said.  While Muñoz did decide to call it a career that night, the former collegiate wrestling star believed that he could still compete at a high level, especially since he was working with world champions and elite-level talent on a daily basis.  “I honestly felt that I was still in my prime,” Muñoz admitted. “I honestly felt that I could have fought more and I felt like I could beat still the guys that beat me. I trained with all the best guys. I trained with Lyoto Machida and fought him and I do very well with him inside the gym. Michael Bisping was a training partner of mine. Anderson Silva I trained with him for a very long time. I know that level and I can be at that level. I felt like I could still compete at that level.” The reason why he left the sport, Muñoz explained, is to be able to spend more time with his family.  “To answer your question, the reason why I stepped away from the sport was not because my body wasn’t able to do it. I stepped away because my family needed me more than me being in the sport. Because, I’m telling you it was hard for my wife, she was a single mom with all the kids for a long time so it was hard. Things at home was pretty rough for us and I didn’t like that at all. All the while I was coaching and travelling all the time so something has to give. I felt like yes, it was a storybook ending but a the same time, I can still compete with the best guys in the division.” Check out the full interview HERE .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 15th, 2020

Bring Hyun Bin anywhere you go

Mobile services provider Smart continues to bring South Korean superstar Hyun Bin closer to his legions of Filipino fans as it launches a new promo featuring exclusive merchandise and bonus data for subscribers......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 14th, 2020

WATCH: Season 76: A Cinderella story

Coaches would say that a rivalry can only be legit if both teams have already bested each other.   In UAAP women’s volleyball, De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University have forged the most exciting rivalry in the last decade. Every time the two teams would meet, the arena will be packed with fans of both sides forming a sea of blue and green.    But back in the early years of what would be this generation’s most celebrated rivalry, the Lady Spikers proved to be too much for the Lady Eagles. Their first two Finals meetings resulted in DLSU gifting its multi-titled mentor Ramil De Jesus his second grand slam.   Then six years ago, after a couple of seasons of ending up as the crying bridesmaid, Ateneo finally wrote its fairytale with a happy ending. It was 2014, the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament was already at its climax. The mighty De La Salle University bulldozed its way into the championship round outright. For 14 games in the eliminations the Lady Spikers led by their feisty and fiery senior Aby Marano were invincible. Unbeaten, confident, eyes glued on extending their reign to four straight years, DLSU was unstoppable. On the other side, the Lady Eagles were the underdogs hoping for a miracle. Ateneo, removed of its Fab Five seniors who graduated without a mint the year before and under a new mentor who barely speak English or Filipino in Thai Tai Bundit, was led by third year hitter Alyssa Valdez and hardworking libero Denden Lazaro. The Lady Eagles had to take the long route for a ticket back to the Finals. Ateneo went through do-or-die games one after another against Adamson University and twice against the towering sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago-led National University. Then came the mountain-scaling challenge of taking on a well-rested thrice-to-beat DLSU.   Game 1 The Lady Eagles are determined to topple a giant. [Watch here]   Game 2 The Lady Spikers are known for their pride. [Watch here]   Game 3 Anything controversial is memorable. [Watch here]   Game 4 A Cinderella ending is written. [Watch here].....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 31st, 2020

A step ahead? Nike s Vaporfly shoe changing marathon game

By PAT GRAHAM and ALEXANDRA OLSON Associated Press To pick the favorites in this year's Olympic marathon, just glance at the shoes of the runners on the starting line. Anyone wearing Nike's Vaporfly model may already have a head start. The shoe has shaken up distance running since the world’s largest sports apparel company introduced it four years ago, with technology credited for helping runners shave minutes off their times. To some, the advances are an exciting revolution. Others have called it “technology doping” that risks reducing marathons to a shoe competition. “Running is so simple. That's why people love it so much. Now we have a shoe that is blurring that," said Geoff Burns, a runner and Ph.D candidate at the University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology. The controversy prompted World Athletics, the sport’s governing body, to issue its most stringent shoe regulations in decades ahead of the Tokyo Games. But the Vaporfly escaped a ban, and the debate continues. Now, Nike has a new racing shoe that also squeaks by the new rules: The Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, which was unveiled at a flashy fashion show in New York on Wednesday night. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya wore a prototype of the shoe when he ran the world's first sub-2-hour marathon in an unofficial race in October. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei was also in a version of the shoe when she set the world record for women in Chicago last year. Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya wore a version of Vaporfly when he won the New York Marathon in November. All three of the men’s marathon medalists at the 2016 Rio Olympics laced up a version of the shoe as well. Vaporfly shoes have become a common sight at marathons all over, easily spotted with their neon green or pink hue. Many marathoners are gladly paying the $250 price tag on Nike’s website — and sometimes more — even as they wonder how much credit they can personally take for improved results. Bryan Lam, an amateur marathoner in Washington, D.C. said he spent $400 for a pair of StockX ahead of the London Marathon last spring because the version he wanted was sold out elsewhere. He ran the marathon in 2:59.30, seven minutes faster than his previous personal best, a result he called “insane.” It helped him achieve his lifelong goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon this year. “I’d like to think that it was because of all of my training for the London Marathon but I do think the shoes had something to do with my performance,” Lam said. “It’s definitely not a level playing field when those who can afford the shoes have that type of advantage." What differentiates the Vaporfly is a foam midsole that is lighter and less dense than others, allowing for extra cushioning without adding weight. The shoe also has a carbon-fiber plate that acts like a lever to reduce the work at the ankle. Independent and company-sponsored studies have found that the shoe gives runners a 4% edge in energy efficiency. The Air Zoom Alphafly Next% steps it up a notch with two “air pods" in the sole for extra cushioning. Both the Vaporfly and the Alphafly meet a World Athletic rule that limits the sole thickness to no more than 40 millimeters. The Alphafly will be available for sale to Nike members starting Feb. 29, meaning it meets a new rule that shoes must be available on the open market by April 30 to be allowed at the Tokyo Games. Kyle Barnes, an exercise science assistant professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, conducted a study around two years ago that compared the Vaporfly shoes to Nike’s Zoom Matumbo 3 (a track spike) and Adidas Adizero Adios 3. His findings showed about 4.2% more efficiency by wearing the Vaporfly model. Bottom line: Barnes estimated that slipping into the Vaporfly could potentially trim several minutes off a professional’s time and in the vicinity of 10 minutes for, say, a 4-hour marathoner. “It is a form of technology doping,” said Barnes, who co-authored the study with exercise physiology professor Andrew Kilding from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. “You're at a disadvantage not being in those shoes. ... Everything is happening so quick right now in the shoe industry.” World Athletics sought a middle ground in its recent decision, making clear that wearing the Vaporfly will not constitute cheating. But in tightening its rules, the Monaco-based organization signaled a new era of vigilance. The governing body said an expert working group will be created to assess new shoes entering the market and placed a moratorium on certain criteria for shoes. It also banned any shoe with a sole thickness of more than 40-millimeters, or that contains more than one plate. The Vaporfly controversy has drawn comparisons to the advantages that swimmers received wearing the Speedo LZR Racer, a full-body compression suit that trapped air for buoyancy and improved performance, leading to a slew of world records. Swimming's world governing body later banned all body-length swimwear. But the minimal technology involved in running has evolved only gradually, said Burns. The last major changes, he said, came in the 1960s and '70s, when shoe manufacturers developed EVA-based foam midsoles and all-weather tracks began replacing cinder tracks. N ike also is working on a fast shoe for the 100 meters. It's called the Nike Air Zoom Viperfly and as of now will not be at the Olympics because its design does not meet the new World Athletics regulations. Nike is looking at ways to adjust the shoe so that it will comply with regulations, according to a person familiar with the discussion. The person spoke on condition of anonymity of the ongoing process since it's not public. Other companies are also pushing the boundaries of shoe technology. Saucony has a carbon-plated shoe called the Endorphin Pro, which m arathoner Jared Ward wrote in a blog felt like the shoes were “pushing me forward into more of a half-marathon cadence.” Translation: It’s fast. Joyciline Jepkosgei won the women’s marathon in New York wearing an Adidas Adizero Pro prototype, which the company said in a statement conforms with the new rules. Adidas did not release details about the shoe's technical design. Hoka One One recently came out with the Carbon X, which was described as a cushioned, carbon-plated “speed machine” for a "propulsive, responsive ride.” “We’re all fans of the sport,” said Colin Ingram, director of product for Hoka One One. “We’re all for (technology advances) as long as we're able to do it within our own DNA when we decide to jump into the foray.” For the moment, though, Nike appears to hold a sizable lead over any rival. "I suspect they're three years behind, minimum, and so it'll take a long time before race results have any real integrity in a competitive sense," sports scientist Ross Tucker wrote in an email. “It turned athletes from 2:06 to 2:04. It decided results. It changed the relationship between physiological input and performance outputs.” Burns said a new era of advanced shoe technology could potentially disrupt the prevailing sponsorship model in running, in which shoe companies generally serve as the main sponsors of athletes. Burns said more athletes may look beyond shoe companies if a contract forces them to wear a shoe that puts them at a competitive disadvantage. "If you have guys bringing knives to a gunfight, it's not a good look for the knife sponsors," Burns said. American distance runner Roberta Groner doesn't have a shoe deal and trains in a variety of brands, including a version of the Vaporfly. She could be wearing that model at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in Atlanta later this month. "I don't get into the science," Groner said. “I just go with how I feel.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JULY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via decision to claim the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship belt. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino won as Philippine Olympic Committee president in a special election after the resignation of Ricky Vargas.   AUGUST John Riel Casimero knocked out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round to retain the Interim WBO Bantamweight World Championship belt. San Miguel Beer captured the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. F2 Logistics won the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.   SEPTEMBER Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clearing 5.81 meters in the Salto Con L'asta meet in Piazza Chiari, Italy. Gilas ended the horror trip to China with a 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Japanese-Filipino sumo wrestler Hisashi Mitakeumi captured his second top-division title after defeating Takakeisho in a playoff to win the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. Pedro Taduran needed only four rounds to dispatch Samuel Salva to become the new IBF Minimumweight World Champion. Kiefer Ravena saw action in the PBA after an 18-month ban.   OCTOBER Caloy Yulo won a historic gold medal in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and also earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nesthy Petecio won the gold medal in women’s featherweight of the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Brandon Vera fell short against Aung La N Sang in their ONE light heavyweight bout in Tokyo while Kevin Belingon was submitted by Bibiano Fernandes in their bantamweight title clash. Adamson University won the PVL Collegiate Conference title. F2 Logistics ruled the PSL Invitational Conference.   NOVEMBER Ateneo de Manila University won its third straight title in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball via tournament sweep while National University completed a six-peat with its 96th straight win in women's basketball. Letran dethroned San Beda University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament. Creamline retained its PVL Season 3 Open Conference crown. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas' scheduled world title defense against Mexico's Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was cancelled because the challenger’s visa issues.  Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Japanese KO artist Naoya Inoue via unanimous decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament. Joshua Pacio retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a masterful submission win over fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. The Philippines began its fourth hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Businessman, sports patron and University of the East head coach Bong Tan passed away after collapsing during a basketball game. He was 53.   DECEMBER Pinoy boxer Johnriel Casimero knocked South African Zolani Tete out in the third round to capture the WBO Bantamweight World Championship. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his belt after needing just six rounds to dispose of Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales. Team Philippines won the overall championship in the SEA Games after copping 149 gold medals. Barangay Ginebra and Meralco forged a Finals encounter in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

Hailee Steinfeld to meet Filipino fans on September 6

Hailee Steinfeld to meet Filipino fans on September 6 Rappler MANILA, Philippines Hailee Steinfeld is dropping by Manila to meet her Filipino fans on September 6 at the Eastwood Mall Open Park in Qu.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019