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More swab test inside bubble; activities back to normal after disinfection

CLARK FREEPORT–Barangay Ginebra guard LA Tenorio, some PBA staff and members of the media on Thursday underwent their second swab test as part of the tight health measures being implemented inside the bubble.   The procedure was done in a stricter manner a day after the league reported that a referee was found to be a “suspect case”of the deadly virus on his fourth RT-PCR test. Hours later, he came out negative on the antigen test administered upon his arrival at the mega quarantine facility in Capas, Tarlac.  Tenorio and the 14 other delegates had to wait in their respective rooms in Quest Hotel for their turn in the swab testing area.  Alaska and Blackwater also had a second round of test for the week after several players raised concern of having possible contact with the suspected case.  The RT-PCR testing is done to the entire 350-man delegation every two weeks to ensure the safety and integrity of the bubble.  Save for a few late arrivals, all players and staff of the 12 teams already tested negative on their second swab test in the bubble administered last week.  Meanwhile, the PBA has lifted the suspension of activities in the hotel following the full disinfection of facilities.  Swimming, jogging and gym workouts were allowed anew starting on Thursday afternoon. .....»»

Category: newsSource: mb.com.ph mb.com.phOct 22nd, 2020

Team Lakay s Gina Iniong and Joshua Pacio: Two paths, one goal

Lakay. It is the Ilocano word for old man.   But when you go up to Baguio, it has an altogether different meaning. You cannot miss that word when you drive down Benguet road, on a nifty sign attached to a normal-looking office building: Team Lakay.   The home of the best Philippine mixed martial arts team in history. Almost all of the big names local fight fans have come to cheer and love as our modern-day heroes trace their roots to the relatively small, packed training room down Benguet road, where mats are soaked with the sweat of the fighters.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, Rey Docyogen, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva are all hallowed names in the annals of Philippine mixed martial arts, disciples of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, who established, and groomed Team Lakay to the fearsome fighting factory that it is today.   While all the names above have ensconced themselves on pedestals, Team Lakay’s pipeline includes two more who have been fighting for recognition in recent fights: lone female fighter Gina Iniong, and ONE’s current Strawweight lynchpin and youngest champion, Joshua Pacio.   Both fighters may have started their professional fighting careers for different reasons, but Iniong and Pacio still have a lot to offer and prove for mixed martial arts in the country and in the international stage, such as being prominent fighters in the prestigious cage of ONE Championship.   CHANCE OF A LIFETIME   Gina, the first female Filipino mixed martial artist to fight and win abroad, started boxing back in high school as part of her after-school activities. When she was about to graduate, she actively sought scholarships in order to finish her education. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of an athletic scholarship, concentrating on the martial art of Wushu, which has a huge following in her hometown of Baguio City, with the University of the Cordilleras having a team of its own.   “Our former boxing coach, who was a former student of Coach Mark (Sangiao), approached me one day, telling me to join the upcoming wushu competition then for the college scholarship. So I joined it, and took a chance,” Iniong shared, recounting how she got into the world of combat sports as a young lady.   However, it was too good to be true, as she had to hurdle quite a huge problem if she wants that scholarship: a fight record. Sangiao told the young Iniong it would be difficult to get her a scholarship if she does not have a record to show in active combat in Wushu.   “I was lucky because there was a Wushu National Games here in Manila and we immediately went down and made our way there. Thankfully, I got the gold after the competition, and that paved the way for my scholarship,” said Iniong.   From there, the “Conviction” was born. After competing in numerous Wushu tournaments, Iniong finally caught the eye of Sangiao, who decided to take her under his wings and train her to be his female version inside the MMA cage.   After debuting in the Universal Reality Combat Championship in 2010, Iniong hasn’t looked back in the 12 bouts she has figured in, compiling a professional record of 8-4.  As the lone female representative of the most-successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines, she has displayed that trademark fearsome striking prowess of fighters coming from the Lakay camp.   When asked about the fact that she is one of the only five Filipinas making the country proud inside the ONE cage, the 29-year old’s face lit up, in disbelief, in honor, in humility, for she cannot believe it herself.   “I’m very proud, and humbled, of the fact that I am the lone female fighter representing Team Lakay in ONE Championship. Many very skilled female fighters dream of being part of ONE Championship, and fight under Team Lakay, yet I am the one that Coach Mark has seen with the most potential to carry the flag inside the cage,” she said.   However, what drives Gina to fight, and it has been a well-known fact, is her mother, diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. In her fight against Jihin Radzuan last February, Iniong dedicated the fight to her mother, who to this day, is scared of seeing her daughter mix it up in the ring.   “To this day, she hasn’t watched me fight live, not even on TV because she is quite the nervous person, and she would only watch if she knew I won, during replays. She is very unlike my dad, who has fully supported my life as an athlete, after being a boxer himself in his younger days,” she shared.   CHALLENGE ACCEPTED   Joshua “The Passion” Pacio never intended to make mixed martial arts fighting a career growing up. The 23-year old fighter deemed it impossible back then, to reach a stage as huge as ONE Championship, due to the excellence of the fighters that he used to watch with his uncle through videos.   Add to the fact that Pacio was overweight. Obese, specifically. It made it all the more difficult for the kid to follow his dream and passion to be a fighter.   It all changed when his uncle started training him in Muay Thai, the art of the eight limbs that originated from Thailand, and considered one of the deadliest forms of combat striking. It started out as training just for fitness, but as if seeing a tiny ray of light in a dark tunnel, Pacio wanted more.   “At first, it was only for fitness, with my uncle training me, and watching videos of various MMA fights, which really inspired me to push myself harder. I really wanted to test myself, compete with the best, and it all seemed impossible when I was out of shape. My uncle really pushed me starting with Muay Thai. I started competing a few months after that, but I suffered defeat after defeat in amateur competitions. I questioned myself why I still trained afterwards. But at the same time, that’s when I realized that this is really my passion, that even if I lost my last fight,” shared the ONE Championship Strawweight king, who has not looked back since then.   “The goal for me has ever been to prove to myself that I have improved in skills, and be the best fighter I can be,” Pacio added.   He made his ONE debut three years ago, finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of professional mixed martial arts, facing a more experienced Filipino fighter in Robin Catalan at the age of 20, one of the youngest to enter ONE’s cage.   “Before I got to represent Team Lakay in ONE Championship, the roster spot was actually up for grabs. Fighters of the team figured in a Team Lakay Championship, a grand-prix style tournament within the team, for the ONE Championship contract. I fought twice victoriously in one night to get it. Two weeks later, with a ONE Championship event in Manila, that’s when I found out I am making my professional debut,” said an astounded Pacio.   Everything about the man they call “The Passion” has been hard earned. He finally tasted gold last 2018 when he decisioned the famed Yoshitaka Naito, a Japanese ground and wrestling master that forced Pacio to tap via a rear-naked choke when they first met. Facing, and losing to Naito, according to Pacio, was a revelation that he has to improve his overall skills, especially his ground game in order to play with the big boys of the cage.   Striking will definitely get you somewhere, as is with Pacio’s base as a martial artist, but one has to have more tricks up his sleeve when they aspire for the pinnacle of the competition. Joshua came back with a vengeance in 2018 to show “Nobita” that “The Passion” is no longer the young kid who will be submitted easily.   However, 2019 did not start of great for Pacio and Team Lakay, after he lost the belt in January to Naito’s contemporary in Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in a questionable split decision. But that did not deter the young man, who has made it his personal goal to continue improving and treat each loss as a lesson, in ONE Championship’s “Roots of Honor” fight card, where he faced Saruta once more.   This time, in front of a racous Filipino crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Pacio did not let the judges’ cards decide as he detonated a right knee to the side of Saruta’s head late in the fourth round to reclaim his throne. The dreaded Team Lakay striking power knocked the lights out from the Japanese fighter as Baguio’s young lion let out a furious roar to celebrate his redemption.   TWO PATHS, ONE GOAL   One did it for education, the other for health. Nowadays, however, MMA means more to Iniong and Pacio than just a stepping stone to something else. It is their passion, their advocacy, their bread and butter.   They continue to grind each day, waiting for another opportunity to show what they got and get the win, not just for personal glory, but also for the country and their family.   Inspired by her ailing mother, the “Conviction” promises to keep her current winning streak up despite being up against a formidable foe in her next match. After tasting defeat from Brazilian Istela Nunes, Iniong bounced back with a split decision over Radzuan last February to get herself back on track. Right now, Gina has one thing in mind with their goal: chase that ONE Women’s Atomweight division title, currently held by Angela Lee, and become the Philippines’ very first female ONE world champion.   However, Iniong acknowledges that the path towards the gold may not be easy, as she is currently eyeing a rematch with Japanese tormentor Mei Yamaguchi, the number one-ranked Atomweight fighter whom she has fought with twice, in order to settle who the rightful challenger to Lee’s belt is.   “Everyone has gotten belts. My big brothers in the team have tasted championship. I felt jealous because I do not have a belt, and lost my fight that would have given me a title shot. This time, I will make sure that I will do my best to secure a title fight,” rued Iniong in a previous interview with ONE Championship prior to fighting Radzuan.   While Iniong wants hit paydirt, it’s all about keeping the belt on his waist for Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight champion. His most probable foe is his nemesis Yoshitaka Naito who he does not have a problem with facing for the third time.   “I really want to prove I am the champion, and if it’s by facing him (Naito), so be it. I also want to prove that I have greatly improved as well from the last time we fought,” he shared.   While Iniong and Pacio await their next fighting assignment, their teammates are in the thick of training for the upcoming “Dawn of Heroes” megafight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. It features Team Lakay members, led by Edward “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and Danny “The King” Kingad, who will face the best of the world as represented by Eddie Alvarez, Reece McLaren, and Yuya Wakamatsu.   The entire country will be cheering on them as the whole world watches. And maybe somehow, somewhere there will be new blood encouraged and inspired by them to take on the challenge of continuing the legacy of the nation’s best fighting team alongside Iniong and Pacio.   After all, Sangiao did not establish Team Lakay just to be some Bagiuo-based fitness gym down Benguet road. He made Team Lakay to provide a home, a family, for young Filipinos who have the heart to fight for their dream, their family, and the country.     Watch “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD with livestreaming on iWant for all the Pinoy fight fans to see. For more stories and news one ONE Championship, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

One more seminar and ‘The Beast’ gets pro license back

      By JONAS TERRADO   Calvin “The Beast” Abueva only needs to attend one last seminar before completing the conditions set by the Games and Amusements Board in order for his professional license to be reinstated. The Phoenix Super LPG star underwent a drug test while inside the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

PBA: Ginebra earliest to start practice under 'new normal'

For the first time in months, PBA teams were able to take the court to start official workouts. Armed with government approvals and favorable COVID-19 test results, teams have started practicing, albeit on a limited basis. Under the PBA protocols, only six people are allowed at facilties at a given time, making teams do their workouts by batches. As of Tuesday, a handful of teams are already breaking sweat. "Nag-practice na kanina, pinaka-maaga Ginebra alas-syete," PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said on the recent Philippine Sportswriters Association forum. Back to work ? @barangayginebra @bayanngrosoffcl #PBAat45#PBATayoAngBida pic.twitter.com/qw6MGFQxAU — PBA (@pbaconnect) August 25, 2020 "Kaninang alas-otso ang Rain or Shine. Tapos Alaska, Blackwater 9 [am], San Miguel 10 [am]. TNT [tomorrow], kasi yung iba kaka-ano lang nung hospital-standard na disinfection, kasi 24-48 hours yun kaya nale-late practices nila," he added. As PBA teams have started their respective practices, the league guidelines are also already in effect. The PBA will implement its strict protocols in order to keep its plans for a restart intact. "May surprise inspection kami, may teams na kaming naiikot," Marcial said. "May video kami sa mga teams and log sa mga players. Yun mga gagawin namin, kapag nahuli sila malaking fine ang aabutin," Commissioner Willie added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2020

Chooks-to-Go 3x3 to observe strict protocol in bubble

Strict health protocols will be practiced and observed once the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 gets the green light to practice, and eventually, hold its actual tournament. This was assured by league commissioner Eric Altamirano on Tuesday during his appearance in the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. Altamirano, who was joined by player Alvin Pasaol, said the league is taking all the necessary steps and precautions to assure the safety and welfare of players, officials, and staff from contracting the COVID-19. “We’re ensuring that we will cover everything from testing to contact tracing,” said Altamirano. All involved personnel will be required to undergo swab testing (PCR-testing) especially those who are going to enter the 3x3 bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna once competition in the newly-turned pro league gets going hopefully, by September. Practices among 12 participating teams are supposed to start within the month, but had to be pushed a little back when the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjacent provinces including Laguna, reverted back to a Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) status. “Right after ma-lift ‘yang MECQ, we will resume our testing and training,” Altamirano said. The league official added he has been in close consultation with Dr. Tony Leachon, the former special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, and other health experts about the protocols the league will have to observe before and during the tournament. The league is on the lookout for a centralized training facility where all teams would be able to workout under strict monitoring. “Pag isang venue lang ang pagpa-practisan, now we can have contact tracing, we can ensure the safety of the facility in terms of cleaning and disinfecting. May scheduled protocol when it comes to that. For every practice, may cleaning gap bago (mag-practice) yung next group,” he explained in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart with Upstream Media as webcast partner. In the league’s bubble, meanwhile, protocol is even stricter. A single person who just showed even a single symptom of the virus will be immediately isolated. A maximum of around 150 persons to be inside the Inspire Sports Academy in the entire duration of the meet......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

Berger a winner at Colonial, and PGA Tour feels like it, too

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour spent two months learning about the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to develop a safe plan to return, followed by another month hoping for the best. Commissioner Jay Monahan said his confidence in the plan came with a dose of uncertainty. “If we ... got into a situation where we were dealing with a number of positive tests, that's something — candidly — that I lost a lot of sleep over in the weeks that preceded coming,” Monahan said. Monahan felt every bit a winner as Daniel Berger at the Charles Schwab Challenge. The tour administered 487 tests for the new coronavirus at Colonial, and the results on all of them came back negative. On the golf course, a dozen of some of golf's best players — from Rory McIlroy to Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele to Jordan Spieth — all had a chance going into the final round. “Listen, there is more work to be done,” Monahan said. “But this is a phenomenal start to our return.” It was a healthy return, except for a somewhat sickly finish. Berger made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and heard the deafening silence of a big moment with no spectators allowed at Colonial. He got into a playoff when Collin Morikawa missed a 6-foot birdie putt for the win and Xander Schauffele missed his try from 25 feet. The playoff was held on the 17th hole, another reminder of how this week was different. Playoffs always start on the 18th hole because that's where the gallery is packed into the grandstands. With no fans allowed, and with the 17th tee right next to the clubhouse, off they went. Morikawa hit a deft chip to 3 feet. Berger chipped even closer from behind the green and rapped in his par. They presumably were headed to the 18th tee until Morikawa's 3-footer spun out, and Berger was the winner. Schauffele should have been in the playoff, but his 3-footer for par on the 17th in regulation dipped in the right side of the cup and spun out of the left side. Talk about a horrible horseshoe. “If there are fans and everything with the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs,’ I’d probably be a little more (ticked) off,” Schauffele said. “Maybe that’s a good thing for me right now. But it was definitely weird." Justin Rose had an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th that looked good all the way until it wasn't. He finished one behind along with Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Kokrak, who also missed birdie chances on the last hole. This isn't the first time Rose or anyone else has missed a big putt. It wasn't the first time Rose let out a gutteral moan from missing. It was just the first time he actually heard it. “If the crowd are there, their groans or cries, whatever it may be, would have drowned me out,” Rose said. “You suddenly realize you actually do make some noise sometimes yourself. And it surprised me a little bit there on 18.” There were reminders all week of no fans, but rarely why golf had been shut down since March 12 because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, a pandemic that canceled one major (British Open) and postponed the others until later in the year. “The only time I thought about it was when I was having to take the tests, and that was really it,” Keith Mitchell said. “Hopefully, nobody comes down with it and we can keep on playing.” Players on the charter to the next stop — Hilton Head on the South Carolina shore — had to swing by the pool area at Colonial after the third round for a saliva test. If negative, they board the plane and don't have to be tested at Hilton Head. Everyone else driving, flying commercial or flying private face another test when they arrive. Tony Finau learned a new skill beyond chipping and putting. He learned to spit for his test. “You just kind of roll your tongue around inside your mouth, and it seems to bring a little bit more, and also if you just lean your face down, it seems to come out a little easier,” he said. So few talking about the virus was an indication of how safe it felt. In this case, the week doesn't end until the next tournament begins. “I was asked, ‘What’s a successful week look like?' It means us getting to the RBC Heritage and having another successful week,” he said. “I feel very good about the setup there, and we're ready to go again." Monahan had said as the tour prepared to return that it was critical not to fall into a trap that all is well. He said he wouldn't feel comfortable until told he could be comfortable, and likely would mean a vaccine. Morikawa said being back to golf and being back to normal were different matters. “Just because we played one week doesn’t mean we can go party and go do everything else like we used to,” Morikawa said. “We still have to follow these guidelines and maintain safety and strict rules with how far we stay from each other because it’s still out there. “We just have to be cognizant of what’s around us and where we put ourselves, because we want the tour to keep playing......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 15th, 2020

Igorot heritage helped keep Team Lakay strong throughout quarantine

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions all over the world not just in terms of physical health, but mental health as well.  With home quarantines and restrictions being placed just about everywhere in the world, people have needed to adapt and adjust to essentially living inside a bubble.  Fortunately, some countries have slowly started to ease restrictions and get back on their feet, and the Philippines is one of them.  Since March, the whole of Luzon has been on Enhanced Community Quarantine, but after the May 15 deadline, a number of cities and provinces have transitioned into General Community Quarantine. Restrictions are still very much in place, but slowly, things are starting to move towards a new normal.  Throughout that time, members of Team Lakay have managed to keep themselves safe and in shape with the help of home workouts and committing to daily training regimens.  (READ ALSO: Mark Sangiao pleased to see Team Lakay wards maintain fitness even during quarantine) The Baguio-based mixed martial arts heroes have also managed to keep themselves not just physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well, and they believe that their Igorot heritage has a lot to do with how they’ve managed to keep their well-being in check throughout the pandemic.  “The Igorot people are known to be resilient, self-sustaining, village-oriented, and we are used to simple living,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Even in times like these, people don’t get hungry because we take care of each other. You go out and you’ll see free vegetables stocked out on the road, and we don’t hoard them, we only get what we need so that everyone has something on their tables.” “Remember that during the war, Cordillera was able to sustain themselves because of the strong ties that we have here, coupled with the patience and the resiliency that we have,” he added. (READ ALSO: Team Lakay mentor Mark Sangiao looking forward to re-opening gym once lockdown is lifted) For former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, obedience has been a key part in staying safe.  “The Igorot people are obedient, we make sure to follow our figures of higher authority, especially our elders.” “We also practice what we call ‘binadang,’ which means helping those in need, which is very important during times like this,” he added. As for former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, self-reliance is an important trait among the Igorot people.  “As a proud Igorot, we are taught to be self-reliant and fend for ourselves during trying times. We are also very obedient and respectful to our leaders,” Belingon stated. Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio echoed Belingon’s sentiments about the Igorot people being self-reliant as well.  “Being an Igorot, most especially the genes and the lifestyle that we live has really helped us during this pandemic,” said Eustaquio. “We are very resilient people, we hold our pride high. We can survive and we can adapt on our own,” “We’ve managed to stay strong throughout this period because I believe that the Igorot people are naturally healthy people,” explained ONE featherweight contender Edward Kelly.  ”The Igorots are physically strong because we are very hard workers, and that helps make our immune system strong as well. Having a strong immune system is very important nowadays so that we don’t get sick with the virus,” Kelly added. For ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio, discipline and obedience has been a major part in keeping Baquio and the Benguet province one of the least affected areas.  “The Baguio-Benguet area was somehow one of the places with the least amounts of cases of people that have tested positive for the coronavirus, and I believe that it’s because of how disciplined the Igorot people are,” said Pacio.  “We listen and we take seriously what the government says. We stay at home and we don’t go out, and we make sure that our health and safety is a must,” the champ added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2020

Closed-door set up works if games are good says East Asia Super League boss

Playing games with no audience present looks like one of the first key steps in having sports leagues resume in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. That seems to be the safest compromise for now and while it still has its drawbacks, playing games with no live crowd can certainly work. "I was listening to a podcast of Bill Simmons and he was talking about the difference between UFC and WWE and what does it look like with no audience? He was saying that the UFC was really cool because the core product and the fight was so real, you can hear things like the groaning and the hitting. It was much more live," East Asia Super League CEO Matt Beyer said. "With the WWE, essentially just choreographed moves, he said it was terrible," the EASL boss added. Beyer was with a webinar with Blackwater's Ariel Vanguardia for Hoops Coaches International, discussing how basketball can be after COVID-19. [Related: The Terrific 12 can be first venue for PBA teams after COVID-19] Playing with no live audience can and will work if the product presented is good and engaging. In the advent of social media, now is also a perfect time to take advantage of the technology. After all, more and more fans are watching games from smaller screens anyway. "I think if the core product, if the game itself is really good, then you can make the production perhaps cooler in a different way with no audience," Beyer said. "It's just that you have to realize, you're playing for the fans in their homes on their devices and you're not playing for a live crowd, which I think for the players is going to be a different experience for sure," he added. With no cure for COVID-19 yet, a new normal will have to be strictly implemented if sports are to come back. Playing inside a controlled bubble might as well be the only way to have basketball come back at least for this year, and that will mean playing with no live crowd. "I think that from the player experience, a big part is gonna be having players tested on a regular basis to be able to take part. And then it's going to be a regulation of the ecosystem around the players, who's in the arena, the people from the TV crew, etc.," Beyer said. "The challenge will be as people interact before we have a vaccine, there's just so many question marks. So how do you keep a controlled environment with all the variables?" the EASL boss added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2020

Kiefer Ravena looking forward to Governor s Cup as he re-joins NLEX in practice

Just hours after his first practice back with the National Team, Kiefer Ravena also re-joined his mother team, the NLEX Road Warriors, for practice, Tuesday morning at the FCL Center in Katipunan.  The 25-year old Ravena, the number two overall draft pick in the 2017 PBA, had his stellar rookie campaign cut short after being handed a suspension by FIBA for failing a random drug test in 2018.  The suspension encompassed not only Ravena's international play, but also his professional play here at home.  Now, with just two months left before his suspension is up and three months to go before he can return to the court with NLEX, Ravena is treating his first practice back like it was his first ever practice with the team.  "I treated it as a normal practice, just like my first day last year," Ravena shared with the media during a post-practice scrum. "I want to make it routine as possible, to hasten the process, to get back to my rhythm, especially, ibang team ‘to eh, NLEX ‘to eh, so every time na nandito ako, yung priority ko is to really think about what’s happening now first, and then pag nasa Gilas, sa hapon, yun naman ng pino-proseso ko." Apart from being able to return to basketball activities, Ravena said that he can also finally watch games as well, and he will be in the house on Friday when his Road Warriors take on Rain or Shine this Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.  "It was a good practice, we have a game on Friday against Rain or Shine. I’m excited to watch, it’s been a while since I’ve watched a basketball game. I’ll be there to watch and support the team." More than just finally being able to run with his squad, Ravena said he just missed simply being around his NLEX family.  "Yung trabaho mismo, yung pupunta ka dito, yung pupunta ka talaga dito mismo to practice, talk to your teammates, do something that I love doing, which is play basketball, just being around my teammates, yun yung pinaka-namiss ko." With the Road Warriors sitting at the bottom of the standings with a 1-7 slate and just three games left in the ongoing 2019 PBA Governor's Cup, it's highly unlikely that NLEX makes a playoff push. As early as now however, Ravena and the team are already getting ready for the third conference, the Governor's Cup.  "Again, it’s more than three months until I get to play with them kasi sa September pa, we’re preparing early for the third conference, so hopefully, ngayon pa lang, good start na sa amin." By the time the Governor's Cup rolls in, Ravena hopes to have with him a fully healthy NLEX squad. Right now, the team has been ravaged by injuries, with their other key playmaker Kevin Alas being sidelined with another ACL injury and veterans in Larry Fonacier, JR Quinahan and RJ Jazul still working their way back.  Ravena is also excited to finally share the court with new faces in Jericho Cruz and Poy Erram. Import Olu Ashaolu is also back with the Road Warriors and is expected to debut on Friday as part of their preparation for the third conference.  "With Jericho coming it, healthy si Poy, healthy is JR, with Olu, me and Kevin, si Jazul, he’s healthy, si Larry pa nandiyan, I think we’re ready to take steps back," said Ravena. "Our goal is to really win it all in the third conference, but we have to take it a day at a time." With three months to go before he makes his long-awaited NLEX return, Ravena is making sure that the team gets into a groove before the start of the Governor's Cup. Being away from the team and not being able to contribute was a difficult experience, Ravena said. Now, he's happy to be able to help the team out, even if it's just in practice for now.  "Siyempre, medyo mahirap, kasi parang medyo helpless ka, nanonood ka lang sa TV, wala kang magawa para makatulong, kahit gustong-gusto mo maka-tulong." Soon enough, 'The Phenom' will be back on the floor, and that can only mean good things for the Road Warriors.  "Pero at the end of the day, tapos na ‘yon, ilang buwan na lang aantayin ko, at least ngayon, eto, makakatulong na ako sa practice. Ito na yung quote-unquote ambag ko sa kanila to make us better for the next three games." "Again, it’s more than three months until I get to play with them kasi sa September pa, we’re preparing early for the third conference, so hopefully, ngayon pa lang, good start na sa amin," he added. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2019

‘Ulysses’ delays departure of three PBA teams

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–Typhoon “Ulysses” has stalled the scheduled departure of three eliminated teams from the PBA Philippine Cup bubble.  The league postponed the trips of NLEX, Blackwater and Terrafirma back to Manila as the typhoon continued to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to Central Luzon and nearby regions.  Some parts of NLEX are impassable due to floods while several roads in Metro Manila are also flooded.  The three teams were scheduled to exit the bubble after playing their final games on Wednesday.  NLEX closed its campaign on a high, posting a 127-101 beatdown of Terrafirma, while Blackwater bowed down to Magnolia, 95-80.  NorthPort, the other eliminated squad, already departed right after its 80-73 loss to Meralco.  Meanwhile, practices at the Angeles University Foundation Arena continue as the eight remaining teams brace for the quarterfinals.  However, activities outside the Quest Hotel building such as walking and running are put on hold as the Acacia Park and Mimosa Drive are still in unsafe condition. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 12th, 2020

Belga stars in OT as Rain or Shine continues good run inside bubble

Beau Belga delivered when it mattered most in the overtime period. (PBA Images) Beau Belga had the last laugh with a stirring performance Tuesday night as Rain or Shine grinded out an 85-82 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center. Belga scored five of his 20 points in the five-minute extension, a follow-up after missing a layup and a three-pointer that gave the Elasto Painters an 83-78 lead, and added 10 rebounds and four assists as the Elasto Painters pulled out a win while handing the Kings a second straight loss following a 4-0 start. But Rain or Shine needed one lucky break to secure its fourth win in five games inside the bubble known as Smart Clark Giga City after Ginebra cut the deficit to 83-80. Jewel Ponferada retrieved the ball after Rey Nambatac slipped before hitting a running one-hander for his only points with five seconds to go to make it an 85-80 lead for the Elasto Painters. Rain or Shine bounced back after falling short against Alaska, 89-88, last week while needing an extra day of rest when Sunday’s game with Blackwater was cancelled due after one of the Elite’s players initially tested positive for COVID-19. No one motivated coming into the game more than Belga, who was out to prove something after seeing a social media comment earlier in the day. “May isang hater na binatikos ako sa social media na puro pananakit lang daw ginagawa ko sa PBA and I just to prove him wrong,” Belga said during a postgame interview on One Sports. Coach Caloy Garcia was also glad that Belga was not the only player to step up for the Elasto Painters. Mark Borboran scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds while James Yap earned a starting role and produced a season-high 13 points. Nambatac only had eight points, but produced one of the game’s biggest shot with a three-pointer that tied the knot at 76-all with 2.1 seconds to go in regulation. Kris Rosales also scored all of his eight points in the first quarter that saw Rain or Shine take a 24-15 lead and forced Ginebra to play catch up throughout. Ginebra had to slowly inch its way back from being down 39-24 in the second behind Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson. Pringle’s jumper put the Kings ahead, 74-73, with over two minutes remaining in the fourth before Borboran missed two free throws and Gabe Norwood muffing a medium-range jumper. LA Tenorio got fouled and made a pair of charities for a three-point Ginebra lead before Nambatac continued his knack to have the ball in the clutch with the game-tying triple on the next play. Thompson finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks and Pringle had 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists but Ginebra couldn’t recover from Sunday’s loss to sibling rival Magnolia. The scores: RAIN OR SHINE 85 — Belga 20, Borboran 13, Yap 12, Nambatac 8, Rosales 8, Onwubere 3, Norwood 3, Ponferada 2, Wong 0, Torres 0. GINEBRA 82 — Thompson 21, Pringle 20, Aguilar J. 13, Tenorio 10, Devance 6, Caperal 5, Mariano 3, Chan 2, Dillinger 2, Tolentino 0. Quarters: 24-15, 45-36, 61-57, 76-76 (Reg), 85-82 (OT)......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

DOH warns PBA vs use of antigen tests, interpreting results as ‘false positive’

The Department of Health warned the Philippine Basketball Association on Thursday against using antigen tests and declaring test results as 'false positive' following a suspected case of COVID-19 inside the season bubble in Clark, Pampanga......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Ref positive in swab test, negative in antigen

After an electrifying opening week of the Philippine Cup restart, the bubble was feared to have been pricked with a suspected first COVID-19 case in the continuing mandatory swab testing here......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 21st, 2020

Rebirth of Nash Racela

Nash Racela has steered Blackwater to an early success inside the bubble. (PBA Images) ANGELES CITY–Blackwater’s new coach Nash Racela seemed like he hasn’t skipped a beat despite missing the PBA sidelines for a long time.  Racela steered the Elite to a 2-1 record in the Philippine Cup at the expense of the winless NLEX, 98-88, on Saturday at the Smart 5G-powered Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center. But the 48-year-old mentor bared that it wasn’t easy for him to return to the league after losing his post in TNT KaTropa two years ago.  “When I got kicked out of Talk N’ Text (TNT), in a way I lost interest in the PBA. I wasn’t watching the game for at least a year,” said Racela. The former Far Eastern University tactician led TNT to a finals and five playoffs appearances in two years. But the KaTropa’s underwhelming performance early in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup prompted the management to put him on leave and eventually replace him with current head coach Bong Ravena. Racela found his way back to the PBA after he signed a two-year deal with Blackwater in November last year. He could only thank his current Elite squad for helping him readjust to the league.  “What really helped me was number one, ‘yung coaches and players that we have. They’ve been helping me a lot by giving inputs,” said Racela, whose familiarity with PBA also encouraged him to take another shot at coaching in the pros.  “Number two is really the familiarity. Most of the players I know, the team tendencies and the coaches are the same,” he said.   “Those are the things that really helped me to slowly be comfortable with coaching again in the PBA.” .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

36 Bilibid PDLs found with COVID-19 following rapid tests

Thirty-six persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa have tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after undergoing rapid tests, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) disclosed on Friday, Oct. 16. The BuCor assured in a statement that the 36 PDLs have been brought to the COVID-19 isolation facility called Site Harry at the NBP. Aside from this, the 36 PDLs underwent confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to determine if they indeed have COVID-19. “If results of the confirmatory test is released, those who are positive for the Covid 19 virus will remain at Site Harry until recovery,” the BuCor said. “The rest who test negative go back to their cells,” it added. The BuCor noted that said RT-PCR tests were conducted by the BuCor Medical Team and supervised by the Department of Health (DOH). The 36 PDLs were among 200 inmates at the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound who underwent COVID-19 rapid tests last Oct. 13. “BuCor’s continuous conduct of rapid test and swab test (RT-PCR) among its PDL is proven to be effective as can be seen in the Bureau’s present covid tally showing low infection rate, low number of active cases and high recovery rate,” the bureau said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

Internet speed in the time of COVID-19 is everything

Time flies by so fast, and yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought our lives to a screeching halt. Nearly seven months into the quarantined life, we have experienced a day that already feels like a week, a week that feels like a month, and with quarantine guidelines restricting us from being with our loved ones, the only way for us to really connect is through the internet. The question now is, how connected are we to be virtually together? In these trying times with everyone cooped up at home, Internet speed has become indispensable. Apart from speed, having a backup is a necessity, what with every family member hogging the bandwidth for Google Hangouts and/or Zoom calls used for either school or work. This is where PLDT Home comes in, thanks to their newly-launched device: the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem. Internet speed is king — even for a backup modem I got to experience firsthand the newest device that PLDT Home recently launched. Having had my fair share of experience with the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid, the newly improved Advance modem is a definite game-changer. How was it? It was not bad — at all. The LTE-Advance experience The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is a plug-and-play device, so installing it is very easy. To put it to the test, I used the device for an entire day, not just as backup, but as my main source of Internet connection. I put it near the window, which is always the advice given for modems to get better Internet connection. The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem features carrier aggregation that is a combination of frequency channels to power LTE to deliver at faster speeds. This enabled me to connect three devices all at once, without having to sacrifice the quality of my Wifi connectivity. The PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance is powered by Smart LTE, the fastest mobile network in the Philippines as certified by Ookla. There are also two LAN ports found at the back that allow users to have wired connection for two devices. This is perfect for families with parents working from home and children taking online classes. The verdict Absolutely no jokes were meant when I mentioned above that the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is a game-changer. This is the device that families need at home to better equip them while working from and/or studying at home while also being practical with their internet spending. Because it’s prepaid, families need not worry about adding up to their monthly bills and they can easily load the device when they need it. The modem is a powerful device because of the reliable and stronger Internet connection it can provide to the entire family. PLDT Home really did step up their game with this device, and I repeat — it’s a necessity in households today. Be it for virtual conference calls for work, online classes, or catch up sessions with your loved ones, the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid modem is a device anyone can depend on. Prepaid packages for the family To match the much improved PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem, PLDT Home provided new and affordable FamLoad packages that cater to the Internet needs of families at home. For students, the FamLoad Study 599 comes with 57 GB with 3 GB/day for learning tools like Canvas, Schoology, Gabay Guro, Microsoft 365, and NEO. Those who are film and TV series geeks will also enjoy using the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem, with its FamLoad Video 599 equipped with 40 GB for open access data and 15 GB of YouTube, or the FamLoad Video Plus 599 with 45 GB for all sites and apps or 3 GB of videos daily for 15 days. The new PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid Advance modem is now available via the PLDT Home website and can be delivered fast via Grab delivery. The unit also comes with free 10GB data that’s ready for use and it’s convenient to reload through GrabApp using the GrabPay wallet, Paymaya, myPLDT Smart app, or PLDT Home and Smart’s retailers nationwide. In these trying times, the need to stay online as we opt to do things virtually is at an all-time high, and PLDT Home may just have provided the very device that is now a truly relevant and essential part of the modern new normal home......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

PBA teams enter Clark bubble , await go signal for scrimmages

With the final batch of teams arriving in Pampanga on Tuesday, the ball clubs are now simply awaiting for the results of their swab test taken upon entering Clark......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 30th, 2020

Rahm channels frustrations into big win with big moments

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) — Jon Rahm is no stranger to wild shifts in emotions, whether it was irritation from an absent-minded penalty that led to his only bogey of the weekend or his 65-foot birdie putt that capped an amazing victory at the BMW Championship. The difference now is he enjoyed it. All of it. The shot that will be remembered at Olympia Fields was a putt in the playoff Sunday that was just over 65 feet from the hole and had to travel even farther to get there, across the 18th green toward a ridge and then down the slope toward the cup, 11 seconds of watching, hoping and celebrating. Rahm wonders how different it might have been if not for his mental blunder. That happened on the fifth hole Saturday, when he was five shots behind. He might never be able to explain how he could walk up to his golf ball on the green, pick it up and freeze upon realizing he never marked it. He feared even after a 66 to get back in the mix that one shot could cost him. “I just hope I don't lose by one,” Rahm said that day. “I'm just going to say that. I just hope. And if I do, well, my fault.” He allowed his mind to think back to the penalty while on the range Sunday afternoon after a 64, the best score of the week, and hearing that Dustin Johnson was one shot behind facing a birdie putt just inside 45 feet. “I was like, that extra-shot cushion would be extremely nice right now, I'm not going to lie,” Rahm said. "But at the same time, it happened. I don't know if I would have won had it not happened. It kind of made me mad at myself, and I just went on with my focus after that and was able to play amazing golf. “I can tell you after making that 6-footer for bogey, I was like, ‘OK, that’s it. No playing around. Go.' That's kind of what mentally did it for me.” Rahm has always said he needs time to process success and failure, and this one could take a while. Even after it was over, and he posed with the BMW Championship and Western Golf Association trophies, part of him still felt like he was on the golf course in a playoff. He looked like a winner when his tee shot on the par-5 15th sailed into the trees and ricocheted out into the rough, avoiding a penalty, and his third shot was a 6-iron from 218 yards to 10 feet for birdie. He followed that with a 30-foot birdie putt across the 16th green for a two-shot lead. He feared for the worse when Johnson, down to his last shot, rolled in his improbable birdie putt down the slope on the 18th green for a 67 to force the playoff. That penalty shot looked as though it might be the difference when Johnson's drive on the 18th in the playoff hit a tree and came back to the fairway, and Rahm's shot from deep rough rolled out to the back of the green, leaving a putt so difficult that Rahm was hopeful of making par. “Honestly, I hoped it would be a decent putt for par coming back and have a chance to keep the playoff going,” he said. It was better than decent. It was perfect. The heart rate never eased up as Rahm watched Johnson's 30-foot birdie putt track toward the cup until it peeled away by inches and Rahm was the winner. “I still can’t believe what just happened,” Rahm said. "That stretch of waiting for DJ, him making the putt, going in the playoff, me making the putt, then trying to stay mentally in it just in case he made the last putt, it’s been a roller coaster. But so much fun. ... I set out to enjoy even the uncomfortable moments we had out there. “And man, it was fun.” Johnson took plenty away, too. He twice beat Rahm in 2017 in the span of a month at World Golf Championships, holding off a Rahm rally in the Mexico Championship and withstanding another ferocious comeback attempt in the Match Play. For Johnson, it was his third straight tournament with the 54-hole lead. He shot 68 in the PGA Championship and was beaten by a 65 from Collin Morikawa, which featured the driver onto the 16th green at Harding Park for eagle. Johnson shot 67 at the BMW Championship and lost to a 65-foot birdie putt in a playoff. Johnson held onto No. 1 in the world ranking and in the FedEx Cup, the latter meaning he will start the Tour Championship with a two-shot advantage. Rahm now has multiple victories worldwide for the fourth straight year. What stands out from this year is winning on the two toughest tests — Memorial, where the greens were allowed to bake out because they were being replaced after the tournament, and Olympia Fields, which played as hard as a U.S. Open. Rahm will get another U.S. Open test in three weeks at Winged Foot. The U.S. Open is billed as the ultimate test, most of that between the ears. Rahm looks more capable of that with each victory......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020

James and Lakers advance with 131-122 win over Trail Blazers

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — While the ultimate objective is to win a title, LeBron James said the Los Angeles Lakers achieved a key goal against the Portland Trail Blazers — and it wasn't simply to win the first-round playoff series. It was improvement. “We got better throughout the course of the series,” James said. “We knew we were coming into a series versus a hot Portland team that was playing the best basketball inside the bubble along with Phoenix. So we wanted to just come in and try to work our game, get better and better as the games went on, as the series went on. And I believe we did that.” James had 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and the Lakers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, beating the short-handed Blazers 131-122 in Game 5 on Saturday night (Sunday morning in the Philippines). Anthony Davis had a playoff-best 43 points for the top-seeded Lakers in their first playoff appearance since 2013. The Lakers hadn't won a playoff series since 2012. James has never lost a first-round playoff series, going 14-0. The Lakers will play the winner of the series between Houston and Oklahoma City. The Rockets took a 3-2 lead with a 114-80 victory earlier Saturday. CJ McCollum had 36 points for the surprisingly scrappy Trail Blazers, who played without injured All-Star guard Damian Lillard. Carmelo Anthony added 27 points. Down 14 in the third quarter, Portland got to 100-97 on McCollum's layup and tied it on Anfernee Simon's 3-pointer to cap an 8-point run with 9:46 left. James answered with a 3. Gary Trent Jr.'s 3-pointer tied it at 109 with just under seven minutes to go. Again the Lakers held off Portland with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's 3. After Trent's 3-pointer closed it to 114-112 with 4:53 left, Davis had a personal 11-0 run to put Los Angeles up 123-112 and all but seal it. The game was originally set for Wednesday night, but players collectively decided not to play in the three playoff games scheduled for that day to protest racial injustice following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Games on Friday were also postponed. James said he hopes the past few days made a difference. “Obviously, the bubble season will never be forgotten. In sports this is the first time we’ve been able to do something like this, but this moment is so much bigger than us playing basketball,” James said. “Hopefully, years on down the line, when America is in a better place, you can look back to this moment and be like, that was one of the catapults that kind of got it going.” Lillard injured his right knee in Game 4 that prompted him to leave the bubble in Florida and return to Portland to see team doctors. Lillard was named MVP of the seeding games heading into the playoffs, averaging 37.6 points and 9.6 assists in eight games. Trent Jr. took his Lillard's spot in the opening lineup. But because of injuries the eighth-seeded Blazers had just nine players available for the game. “All you can do is hope to hang around and make it a fourth quarter game and win in the end, and we didnt quite win it in the end," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. Portland's lone win in the first-round series came in Game 1. TIP INS Trail Blazers: In addition to Lillard, Portland was without Zach Collins because of left ankle inflammation, Nassir Little with dehydration and Wenyen Gabriel with right quad tendonitis. Lakers: Rajon Rondo practiced on Friday but remained inactive for Game 5 as he recovers from a fractured right thumb and back spasms. ... Dion Waiters was game-time decision with a migraine but was available. MOURNING UNCLE CLIFFY: There was a moment of silence before the game for former Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson. He died Saturday at 53. Robinson played 18 seasons in the NBA, his first eight in Portland, and later made the city his home. Portland players also wore headbands during the game in his honor. “His personality and energy were unmatched, and his contributions on the court were unmistakable, helping the Trail Blazers into the playoffs each of his eight seasons with the team,” the Blazers said in a statement. The moment of silence also recognized former Arizona coach Lute Olson and actor Chadwick Boseman. CIVIC DUTY: The Lakers announced before the game than that Staples Center will serve as a voting center for the upcoming general election. Voters can cast ballots at the arena from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. The arena will also serve as a drop-off site for ballots......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

PBA teams try to get back into game shape as restart looms

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial admits that it would take some time for players to get back in game shape after almost five months removed from training due to the pandemic. There’s no doubt that they will show signs of obvious rust.   “Sigurado ‘yun, tinatanong ko ang mga players. Ang hirap magkaroon ng game shape,” said the league official. “Maski mag-practice ka ng ganito tapos scrimmages ka lang ng two to three weeks, hindi mo makukuha ang game shape mo.” “Talagang wala 'yung kondisyon, wala 'yung timing, wala 'yung shooting. So medyo kakalawangin pa ng konti ang mga players,” he added. But Marcial assured PBA fans that teams are now working doubly hard to get their players back into their competitive form as the league prepares for the restart of the Philippine Cup soon – possibly through a ‘bubble concept’ set-up. [Related story: Batangas, Laguna, Araneta all options for 'PBA Bubble'] In fact, at least half of the 12 member clubs have already began their respective individual workouts under a strict health and safety protocol Tuesday morning. [Related story: PBA: Ginebra earliest to start practice under "new normal"] Speaking during the online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Marcial, who was joined by league chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT, said that he has full confidence with how teams will whip up their players back into top form. “’Yun ang ginagawa ng mga coaches. ‘Yun ang ginagawa ng buong team na ayusin nila,” said Marcial. “Baka ‘yung iba nga kung may scrimmages twice a day na ‘yan para preparasyon.” The commissioner added that he already reminded the players to show the same level of competitiveness once the government gives the greenlight for games to resume. “[Sabi ko] ‘di tayo pwedeng maglaro na parang scrimmage. Kung maglalaro tayo eh ‘yung talagang totoong laro. Da-dive tayo. Kung ano ang ginagawa natin, may fans o wala, kailangan ‘yun ang gawin natin. Pumayag naman sila,” said Marcial.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2020

PBA targets September to start scrimmages

PBA teams are all set to finally begin training following their COVID-19 swab tests last week. Up first will be teams doing workouts by batches under the prescribed health protocols. If things go well, the PBA should be able to conduct scrimmages by September, a huge step on their way to a true restart. "Sana payagan din tayo, pero lahat na yan siguro depende kung nasaan na tayo dito sa virus," Commissioner Willie Marcial said. "Kung tumataas pa rin ang mga kaso nandyan pa rin posibilidad na tumaas ulit ang quarantine level. Pero kung steady lang ang number o mas maganda bumaba, malamang payagan tayo. Sana," he added. After Metro Manila returned to a more relaxed community quarantine level last week, the PBA wasted little time in having its teams undergo swab tests. The league has implemented a "no test, no practice" policy and with favorable results, players can finally hit the court in this upcoming week. It will be a welcome development after the PBA encountered delays brought about by upgraded quarantine protocols back in early August. "Okay na rin, kasi na-refine natin, nagdagdag ng ibang protocols," Marcial said. "Nag-wo-workout naman ang mga yan [players] sa bahay pero hinabaan natin ang workouts para kapag nagkaroon na ng scrimmages mababa posibilidad ng injuries," he added as the PBA gears up for team practices.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2020