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No games, big losses: Money crisis faces US Olympic sports

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer DENVER (AP) — The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership dues, while others are reeling from event cancellations totaling more than 8,000 across all sports. A database analyzed by The Associated Press shows combined projected losses of more than $121 million in revenue between February and June for 43 of the 50 national governing bodies that responded to a survey from the NGB Council in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. As much or more as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which serves as an umbrella regulator of the country's Olympic sports, it's the NGBs that provide funding and other support for athletes to pursue their dreams at the Olympic and other elite levels. About 80% of the typical NGB's budget goes toward supporting athletes. Not including the U.S. Tennis Association — an outlier because of the massive revenue it generates from the U.S. Open — the NGBs have a combined annual revenue of about $685 million. By comparison, the NFL and NBA each reportedly brought in about $8 billion during the latest completed season. Half the NGBs are little more than ma-and-pop operations, working with small staffs and on revenue not more than $5 million a year. The USOPC, which sent cash grants to the individual NGBs to the tune of around $65 million in 2018, is also in uncharted territory. The postponement of the Olympics forces the federation to make up for a shortfall nearing $200 million without the NBC payout that comes during Olympic years. The USOPC broke with recent practice by not taking out insurance against that possible loss, instead deciding to self-insure. Some of the shortfall is expected to come from an endowment fund created out of a surplus from the 1984 LA Olympics. The USOPC says the losses across American sports could range from $600 million to $800 million. A good portion of these losses can be recouped if the games go forward, as expected, in 2021. But staying financially healthy until that time is not a given for some of the more vulnerable NGBs. “I haven't heard anyone say their NGB itself was going to go out of business,” said Max Cobb, the president of U.S. Biathlon, who doubles as leader of the USOPC's NGB Council. “But there's very little buffer to absorb any revenue loss for an NGB. They all run on a very tight revenue and expense model, and very few have much in the way of savings.” Already, USA Cycling, a mid-sized NGB with an approximate annual revenue of $15 million, laid off eight of its 70-person staff. And USA Rugby, which existed on about $14 million in revenue through 2017, was already teetering and could be nearing closer to bankruptcy with the added uncertainty the Olympic postponement has brought. Many NGBs, such as cycling, are event driven — reliant on cash brought when people sign up for local and national competitions that they sanction. Others, such as USA Swimming, get their lion's share of funding from membership dues, which are taking a hit as facilities around the nation close on the order of state and local governments. “We, as an NGB, will feel it next fall when memberships start rolling in. That shortfall could have a profound effect,” said USA Swimming's Tim Hinchey. “We can overcome a lot of these things, I think, if all comes back to normal. But we have to wait and see like everyone else.” The only event that makes money for swimming is its Olympic trials, which are also a significant revenue source for track, gymnastics and other sports that send large teams. All have been postponed, to be rescheduled when the IOC sets a new date for the Olympics in 2021. The USOPC recently sent a letter to Congress asking for $200 million to be included in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed through the House of Representatives on Friday. The money, it said, was to be used to support about 2,500 athletes and to help NGBs, which have a total of about 4,500 full-time employees. “On short notice, we surveyed NGBs and then made additional assumptions about the current and future impact of the pandemic on athlete financial support,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said. “Reflective of that work, funds were requested on behalf of athletes and NGBs only.” That request wasn't granted — the federal government has a long history of not providing financial support to the Olympics — though Cobb said he was encouraged that not-for-profit businesses such as the NGBs are allowed to apply for loans as part of the stimulus package's $349 billion “Paycheck Protection Program.” Hinchey said he'll direct some struggling swim clubs to also seek relief from the loan program. What's clear to Cobb is that without some help, more layoffs could be imminent at some NGBs, while others will suffer in ways that the broad public might not recognize right away. Without as much revenue to support a wider swath of coaching and training programs, to say nothing of equipment and state-of-the-art training facilities, some sports' pipelines might suffer. “The athletes receiving the support right now have earned that by being the best in the country,” Cobb said. “But it's that next generation of athletes, and all the NGBs rely on that next generation, that's the group that's the most impacted.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 28th, 2020

Federer extends run of reaching 3rd round to 18 Aussie Opens

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer relied on his Grand Slam experience during the most important points to beat Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday, maintaining his record of never failing to reach the third round at the 18 Australian Opens he's contested. After back-to-back wins over qualifiers, the degree of difficulty in his comeback from a six-month injury layoff will increase exponentially. Next up he faces 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, who had a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Ryan Harrison. Also looming, potentially, is No. 5 Kei Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open finalist, who set up a third-round match against Lukas Lacko with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Jeremy Chardy. Federer didn't play after his semifinal exit at Wimbledon last year, resting his injured left knee. He returned at the Hopman Cup exhibition in Perth this month, and opened at Melbourne Park with a win over another 35-year-old veteran, Jurgen Melzer. Against Rubin, a 20-year-old qualifier and 2014 Wimbledon junior champion, the 17-time Grand Slam winner played the big points like the old pro that he is. Rubin had his chances in the third set, breaking Federer in the second game and having two set points on the Swiss star's serve when he led 5-2. But Federer upped the tempo, winning four of the last five games to force a tiebreaker, which he dominated. Rubin moved well from the baseline, and hit 11 forehand winners, but was only able to convert one of his six break-point chances. 'I definitely got lucky winning that third set. He had a couple of set points on my serve,' Federer said. There were, 'a lot of difficult points, which is what I need.' Federer has a 16-6 record against Berdych, winning the last five, but has had losses to the Czech player at the 2004 Olympics, at Wimbledon in 2010 and at the 2012 U.S. Open. 'He's caused difficulties for me in the past on faster courts,' Federer said. 'Then again, I've played him here, as well, when it went my way. I just got to play on my terms.' U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka advanced 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 over Steve Johnson and will next play No. 29 Viktor Troicki. No. 19 John Isner, the highest-seeded U.S. player in the men's draw, lost to Mischa Zverev 6-7 (4), 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (7), 9-7 and followed Johnson, Rubin and Harrison out in the second round. No. 23 Jack Sock and No. 31 Sam Querrey won in straight sets, ensuring the U.S. men finished day three on a brighter note. Defending champion Angelique Kerber celebrated her 29th birthday with a 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-2 second-round win over Carina Witthoeft. The crowd sang her 'Happy Birthday,' although she wasn't entirely on song. The No. 1-ranked Kerber angrily swiped her racket in the second set in a burst of frustration that momentarily threw her off her game. She had two double-faults in the tiebreaker, as Witthoeft leveled the match, but regained control in the third. Kerber planned to celebrate over dinner, then get back to work before Friday's third-round match against Kristyna Pliskova, who beat No. 27 Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 7-6 (8). Pliskova's twin sister, Karolina, lost the U.S. Open final to Kerber. 'I'm always playing on my birthday — always in Australia,' said Kerber, who had her major breakthrough here last year. 'I feel like at home here.' Speaking of age, Venus Williams had to field questions about getting older after an energetic performance in her 6-3, 6-2 win over Stefanie Voegele. The 36-year-old, seven-time major winner played the first of her record 73 Grand Slam tournaments at the French Open in 1997. 'It's an honor and privilege to start that young,' she added, laughing, 'and play this old.' Venus and Serena Williams, who have won 14 major doubles titles together, withdrew from a scheduled first-round doubles match later Wednesday, citing an injury to Venus' right elbow. In her next singles match, Venus will play Duan Yingying, who beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 3-6, 10-8. In other third-round matches, two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova will meet former No. 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic, No. 11 Elina Svitolina will take on No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Eugenie Bouchard, who reached the semifinals here and the Wimbledon final in 2014, will play CoCo Vandeweghe. French Open champion Garbine Muguruza beat Samantha Crawford 7-5, 6-4 in a night match, and Mona Barthel beat Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Sports faces vaccine woes ahead of Tokyo games, Euros

Paris—As Olympic organizers deny reports that the Tokyo Games this summer will be postponed again, they, and other sports bodies, are wrestling with the issue of vaccinating participants for Covid-19 at international events......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 26th, 2021

Pinoy surfer Casugay receives international Fair Play award

Surfer Roger Casugay was honored with the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play Award by the Comitee International du Fair-Play (International Fair Play Committee) for his heroic deed during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. The men’s longboard gold medalist in the 30th edition of the biennial meet hosted by the country became the first Filipino to receive the prestigious sportsmanship award named after the father of the international Olympic movement. International Surfing Association (ISA) Membership and Development Manager Alex Reynolds informed the United Philippine Surfing Association of Casugay’s achievement Tuesday. The award will be officially handed to Casugay on October 27. He is expected to fly to Monaco to personally receive the award, should the crisis permit. Casugay also has an option to receive the award virtually. The 26-year old Casugay, a native of San Fernando, La Union drew headlines for his heroic act of saving Indonesian competitor Arip Nurhidayat, who broke his ankle leash and was swept by giant waves. Organizers of the surfing event decided to rerun the competition as Casugay went on to win the gold medal. “We are very proud of Roger because he has truly exemplified the true meaning of being a Filipino and a sportsman,” said Philippine Sports Commission Chairman and 30th SEAG Chef de Mission William ‘Butch’ Ramirez in a statement. “Above all, it is a more fulfilling achievement to be recognized for character than skills and achievements. It shows who we are as people and as a nation,” added the PSC Chief. UPSA President Dr. Jose Raul Canlas also expressed pride on Casugay’s recognition. “It is nice to recognize an athlete not only for his athletic skills but also for his humanity. Holding surfing during the Southeast Asian Games is a milestone event. It paved the way for the ISA to recognize the region and allowed Roger to be also recognized,” he said. Casugay was the flag bearer and recipient of the “Fair Play” award during the SEA Games closing ceremonies held in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. Filipino surfers finished as overall champions in the sports’ SEA Games debut with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

PHI men s volleyball team members stay fit through cycling

National men’s volleyball team members are riding the new craze to stay fit while leagues and activities of the sport are still banned because of the health crisis. Team captain John Vic De Guzman, Bryan Bagunas and Jau Umandal as well as other members of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games silver medal-winning squad are hitting the road with their newfound love for cycling.  “Ginagawa ko na siyang alternative sa endurance training ko. Cross-training ko na rin siya. Para maiba lang kaysa sa palaging takbo lang,” Bagunas told ABS-CBN Sports. Last Thursday, the trio in their first time together since the lockdown pedaled for around 40 kilometers from CCP complex to MOA around Okada and back.   “‘Yung dalawa matagal na rin silang nagba-bike. Tapos na nag-chat ako kay Bry na baka makakuha na ako ng bike. Tapos ayun natauloy din kami,” said De Guzman, who for months stayed in Isabela with his good buddy Ricci Rivero with Luzon put under an enhanced community quarantine because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Iba yung papawis kasi kahit papaano nagi-enjoy ka,” he added. “Kahit papaano nakaka-bonding mo rin sila.” (Photo from Bryan Bagunas' Instagram account: bryanbagunas01) Learning about each other’s interest in biking through their social media posts, Bagunas and Umandal, who rides a road bike, were actually the ones who planned their meeting.    “Nakita ko siyang nag-post ng picture na nagba-bike tapos nakita rin niya ako na nag-post hanggang sa magkayayaan na,” shared Bagunas, who owns a mountain bike. “Itong si John Vic naman nasa Isabela pa kasi siya nung last week pero nagtsa-chat na siya na sama raw siya pag nakabalik na siya. Nagka-schedule na magkasama-sama.” Last Saturday, the trio joined other former national team members including coach Emil Lontoc, Kungfu Reyes and Ottie Camangian in a get-together bike run which kicked off in Las Pinas. Meanwhile, libero Ricky Marcos is hitting two birds with one on his bike. The Bulldogs standout is not only using his bike to stay fit, it also serves as his delivery ride for his online business. Marcos himself delivers samgyupsal to his customers on his bike. Marcos is one of the first national athletes to avail of the free bicycles given by the Philippine Olympic Committee through the initiative of its President Cong. Bambol Tolentino. Rhea Dimaculangan of the women’s volleyball team is also a first batch recipient of POC’s free bikes. Bagunas said that other national team members are actually looking to join them in their cycling runs. “Pati ‘yung iba may plano nang bumili ng bike. Sigurado sa susunod ‘yung iba mapapasama na,” he said. “‘Yung iba nagsa-cycling na rin sila pero di pa namin nakakasama pa.” With their usual training activities still prohibited, volleyball athletes are finding ways to stay in shape and remain in tip-top condition.   “Mahirap na rin magpabaya eh,” said Bagunas. “Kasi siyempre baka biglang magkalaro na nga. Siyempre buhay na natin 'yang volleyball.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2020

CSB puts recruitment on hold; prioritizes 250 active student-athletes

There will be no new student-athletes coming College of St. Benilde's way. The Taft-based school has decided to do away with recruitment for the time being in the face of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. However, the green and white institution has pledged its commitment to the 250 student-athletes who are already part of its varsity teams. "We made a commitment to our student-athletes and their families and we remain true to our mission of faith, service, and communion," Center for Sports Development Director Stephen Fernandez said. That means that their players in badminton, basketball, chess, football, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, and volleyball could rest assured that they would remain Blazers. Not only that, they also remain entitled to their Athletic Recruit Grants. CSB has been home to several national team athletes in Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz (weightlifting) as well as Southeast Asian Games double-gold medalist Agatha Wong (wushu) and silver winner Johnvic De Guzman (volleyball). --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 4th, 2020

Bagunas begins building dream house for parents

Bryan Bagunas is planning something big for his hard-earned money. While his peers are occupied with their business ventures with the resumption of volleyball events still up in the air because of the health crisis, the national team stalwart is busy with his own project.       “As of now wala pa akong binabalak na negosyo kasi magpapatayo ako ng bahay ng parents ko,” Bagunas told ABS-CBN Sports. The former UAAP Most Valuable Player saved some of his earnings as an import for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler in the Japan V. Premier League to buy a lot and eventually build a house for his parents in Batangas. “Kakabili ko lang ng lot dun then papatatyuan ko naman sila ng bahay. Yun muna ang unahin ko as of now,” said the 2019 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist and two-time UAAP champion. The pride of Balayan, Batangas bought a 430 sq. meter property where he plans to construct his parents’ house. As of now his parents are still planning on the design and size of the house. “Depende pa sa kanila kung anong gusto nilang design. Sila na mamili para naman sa kanila ‘yun. Ireregalo ko sa kanila,” said Bagunas. He added that once the house design is settled, they can then proceed with the construction. “Hindi pa nasisimulan bale pinag-aaralan pa lang ng tatay ko. Kasi ang tatay ko marunong ding gumawa ng bahay,” said Bagunas. Bagunas is set to fly back to Japan in September to resume training with the Weiss Adler. On Wednesday, Bagunas signed with Spikers’ Turf club team Go for Gold. He cleared that the there’s no conflict of schedule with his league commitments here and in Japan.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2020

Cong. Tolentino to lobby return of slashed 2020 PSC budget

Philippine Olympic Committee president and congressman Bambol Tolentino will lobby in the House of Representatives the return of the funds slashed from the national sports agency brought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Philippine Sports Commission was among the government agencies instructed by the Department of Budget and Management to slice its 2020 budget by more than half. The PSC returned P700 million out of its P900 million budget to be used in the fight against the deadly virus.    PSC’s other source of fund was also severely hit by the health crisis with the dwindling remittance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation as most of the country put under community quarantine, forcing the agency to do belt-tightening measures including slashing the national athletes’ allowances in half. Tolentino told reporters on Monday via Zoom press conference that PAGCOR has resumed its remittance. “Nag-remit na ang PAGCOR ulit. I don’t know kung mako-cover na ‘yung portion ng month na nabawasan na ang allowances,” he said. However, anticipating that the remittance won’t be enough, Tolentino announced that he will lobby in Congress the return of the diverted PSC budget. “Pero kung ‘di man ma-cover (ng PAGCOR remittance), my announcement is, not as POC president, but as a member of the House of representative, we will try to give back the amount that was taken from the PSC national development fund na ibinalik sa national treasury for the COVID-19 use. Amounting to P700 million,” said the representative of the eighth district of Cavite. Athletes are set to have their allowances cut in half starting July. “So kung ‘yun lang ang kailangan para maibalik o ma-sustain ang mawawala we will try in the House of Representatives I will lobby for it. We will try to return it in this coming second Bayanihan extension act to return the amount given to the national treasury because of the COVID-19,” said Tolentino. “Para lang ‘wag mabasawan o maibalik, para lang complete ang allowances again ng mga athletes.” The lawmaker added the athletes who brought honor and pride to the country including copping the overall championship in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in the country deserve to receive full financial support from the government even amid this crisis. “Ang point ko rito kasi baka di alam ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte na tinamaan ‘yung mga national athletes, ‘yung mga allowances. Baka kapag nalaman niya, ‘Huh? After giving pride and glory being overall champion sa SEA Games tapos tatamaan din sila, yung mga frontliners natin sa sports,’” he said. “Pipilitin naming ibalik ang amount na ‘yun,” added Tolentino.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2020

40 years later, vote to skip Moscow Games still horrible

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer DENVER (AP) — By the time the news filtered to him, Edwin Moses had already left a promising engineering job to focus on a full-time career on the track. He was lucky. He already had an Olympic gold medal hanging on his wall. Hundreds of other American athletes would never get their chance. They were part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team — the team that never made it to the Moscow Games after President Jimmy Carter spearheaded a now-infamous first-of-its-kind decision to boycott the Olympics. The full board of the U.S. Olympic Committee rubber-stamped Carter's decision 40 years ago Sunday — April 12, 1980. “I'd walked away from my career to get ready for the 1980 Olympics, and all was moot,” Moses told The Associated Press by phone. “So, it was horrible. For me, and for everyone.” Moses said by the time the USOC's unwieldy delegation of nearly 2,400 people met at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on a Saturday morning in April, with Vice President Walter Mondale in attendance, it was all but a done deal that the U.S. team would not be traveling to Moscow. Carter had begun the push in late 1979, with the Soviet Union pressing a military campaign into Afghanistan. In his 2010 memoir, Carter called it “one of my most difficult decisions.” Maybe more telling, as former USOC spokesman Mike Moran wrote in a recap of the events leading to the boycott, was an exchange the late 1984 Olympic champion wrestler Jeff Blatnick had with Carter on a plane many years later. “I go, ‘President Carter, I have met you before, I am an Olympian,'” Moran said in his retelling of Blatnick's story. “He looks at me and says, ‘Were you on the 1980 hockey team?’ I say, ‘No sir, I’m a wrestler, on the summer team.’ He says, ‘Oh, that was a bad decision, I’m sorry.’” Forty years later, there is virtually no debate about that conclusion. And the lingering irony of this year's games postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic isn't lost on Moses. “As an athlete, you lose one of your cat's nine lives,” he said. There will be a handful of could've-been 2020 Olympians who will not make it to 2021, because of age, injury or a changed qualifying procedure. Of the 466 U.S. athletes who had qualified for Moscow in 1980, 219 would never get to another Olympics, Moran wrote. Most of those who did would compete in 1984 against a less-than-full field. The Soviets and a number of Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the Los Angeles Games in a tit-for-tat retribution to the U.S. move four years earlier. Moses romped to a victory at the LA Coliseum in 1984, and he almost certainly would've won had the Soviets been there, too. He was the world-record holder and in the middle of a string of 107 straight victories in finals at 400 meters. If there was any silver lining to the 1980 boycott, Moses believes it was the recalibration of the Olympic model. During the years of the Moscow and Los Angeles boycotts and massive red ink from Montreal in 1976, the forces that had compelled Moses to quit his job — a profession unrelated to track and field — to retain his amateur status as an Olympian were exposed as unfair and unrealistic. The 1984 Games marked the beginning of the Olympics as a money-making venture and the beginning of the end of the strict rules regarding amateurism that put many Americans at a distinct disadvantage. All good for those who were able to take advantage of it. Many from that 1980 team, however, saw their Olympic careers shuttered without ever competing on the biggest stage. “Nothing was ever done to celebrate the team, and a lot of those members aren't around anymore,” Moses said. “We made the ultimate sacrifice in a sports world that no one was asked to do — and it was completely involuntary.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 12th, 2020

Olympics-bound boxer Irish Magno promises to make the most of added time to prepare for Tokyo

Filipina flyweight boxer Irish Magno was the fourth and latest member of the Philippine contingent to secure a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, before the whole world seemingly went into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Magno made the most of her second chance in the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan back in the first week of March, edging out Tajikistan’s Sumaiya Qosimova, 5-0, in the Women’s Flyweight Olympic Box-off to earn her first-ever Olympics berth. She joined top-seeded Men’s Middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial, who also clinched a berth to Tokyo while also taking home gold in the Qualifying Tournament. Just a couple of weeks later, Magno, and the rest of the world, found out that Tokyo 2020 had been postponed to 2021 because of the world’s current health crisis. While it was indeed a saddening development, Magno fully understands the need. “Sobrang nakakalungkot po talaga, kasi yun po yung pinag-hahandaan ng buong team, especially yung mga nag-qualify na,” Magno told ABS-CBN Sports. “But at the same time, okay lang po kasi mas mahabang preparation po kung sakaling ma-postpone yung Tokyo Olympics, at priority po talaga sa ngayon, at mas importante yung safety and health ng every athlete.” “So, if ever po, naiintindihan ko naman po,” Magno added. (READ ALSO: Hidilyn Diaz reacts to Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponement) The 2019 SEA Games Silver Medalist admits that the postponement doused her excitement for her maiden Olympics appearance quite a bit. “Medyo nabawasan din [yung pagka-excited], pero sa panahon ngayon, mahirap rin po sa amin na matuloy kasi hindi po kami makakapag-training ng maayos dahil sa Coronavirus,” Magno explained. “Mas better na ma-postpone, at least makakapag-prepare pa kami ng mas matagal pa.” With the added time to prepare, Magno assured that training won’t let up as they try to bring home some Olympic boxing hardware. “As of now, wala pa po akong balita regarding [sa mga upcoming tournaments], wala pa po kasi kaming naka-schedule, pero I’m sure naman po na tuloy-tuloy ang training.” “Pag-hahandaan po talaga namin to ng buong team, sisiguraduhin po namin na susulitn namin yung binigay na time for the Olympics,” she continued. While the 28-year old will have to wait a bit longer until she can wear the country’s colors in Tokyo, the honor of being an Olympian isn’t lost on her. “Sobrang laki po talaga [na karangalan], is a po ito sa pangarap ng bawat atleta, kaya pagbubutihin ko pa po talaga ang pag-hahanda sa Olympics, dahil para po ito sa ating lahat at sa bansa.” Magno is currently under self-quarantine until March 27th in Baguio City. With the current Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon, she isn’t sure if she can go home to Iloilo before April 14th. “Wait ko na lang po sasabihin ng coaches po,” she concluded. (RELATED: Right decision – POC president Tolentino on Tokyo Olympics reset)  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 27th, 2020

No fans, no work: Arena workers caught in sports shutdown

By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer MIAMI (AP) — David Edelman can usually be found at a Denver Nuggets basketball game or a Colorado Rapids soccer game. As an usher, he interacts with fans in a role he calls a staple of his life. But there are no Nuggets games for at least a month. No Rapids games, either. And Edelman has no idea what he’ll do now. “This is what I do for a living,” Edelman said earlier this week, as the realization hit that sports were going on hiatus because of the coronavirus. “This is my income.” Thousands of workers would have staffed the 450 NBA and NHL games that will not be played over the next month in response to the pandemic. And then there are the more than 300 spring training and regular-season baseball games, 130 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tournament games, 50 or so Major League Soccer matches, all international golf and tennis tournaments, and who-knows-how-many high school, small college and other entertainment events canceled or postponed because of the global health crisis. The total economic impact of the loss of sports and other events because of the pandemic — assuming only a month shutdown — is impossible to calculate but will reach the billions, easily. Tickets aren’t being sold, so teams and leagues and organizing bodies lose money. Fans aren’t going to events that aren’t happening, so taxi drivers and ride-share operators have no one to ferry to and from those places. Hotel rooms will be empty. Beers and hot dogs aren’t being sold, so concessionaires and vendors lose money. Wait staff and bartenders aren’t getting tips. Without those tips, their babysitters aren’t getting paid. The trickle-down effect sprawls in countless directions. Some teams are trying to help. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, within minutes of the NBA shutdown announcement, said he wanted to find a way to help workers who will lose money because games won’t be played. By Friday, he had his plan: “We will pay them as if the games happened,” he told The Associated Press in an email. Other teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, have made similar commitments to workers at not just NBA events but also the building’s minor-league hockey games. The Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks were among the earliest NBA franchises to reveal they’re working on how they’ll take care of arena staffs. So have the NHL’s Washington Capitals, among others, and the ownership group for Detroit's Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers on Friday said they were setting up a $1 million fund “to cover one month's wages for our part-time staff for games, concerts and events that they would have otherwise worked." “Our teams, our cities and the leagues in which we operate are a family, and we are committed to looking out for one another,” New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris said. There were many more significant gifts revealed later Friday. Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans said he would “cover the salaries” for workers at the team’s arena for the next 30 days. Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons pledged $100,000 for workers there, the San Jose Sharks said part-time arena workers would get paid for all games not played and Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky said he was giving $100,000 to workers in that club’s arena -- a donation matched by his teammates and followed by another pledge from the team’s ownership group. “This is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates and hopefully we can all join together to relieve some of the stress and hardship caused by this national health crisis,” Williamson wrote on Instagram. At Chicago Blackhawks hockey games alone, about 1,500 workers are in or outside the building on event nights: guest services, concessions, parking, security, box office and so on. “The per game payroll is more than $250,000,” said Courtney Greve Hack, a spokeswoman for the United Center. If that’s the NHL norm — no official numbers are available — then workers around the league would stand to lose more than $60 million if hockey does not return this season. “I get it,” said Chris Lee, who owns a coffee and smoothies franchise in Arizona that draws 70% of its annual revenue sales at spring training and Arizona Coyotes hockey games. “But this is going to be really tough.” Lee was packing up cups that won’t be used when baseball announced Thursday that spring training was ending about two weeks early. He and his staff — one full-timer, 14 part-time employees — aren’t sure what comes next. The enormity of the numbers stacks up quickly. The group that owns the Raptors and other pro sports clubs in Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, says it's trying to help 4,000 workers in that city. Extrapolate that across other Canadian and U.S. pro sports cities, and those teams could be looking at 100,000 workers feeling some sort of pinch — not counting the impact at college and other levels. Cavaliers star Kevin Love pledged $100,000 to help the workers in Cleveland address what he described as their “sudden life shift.” On Friday, reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks made a $100,000 pledge on behalf of his family “It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier," Antetokounmpo wrote on Twitter. The NCAA men’s Division I tournament generates about $900 million annually through television and marketing rights alone. In Albany, New York, which was scheduled to host men’s tournament games for the first time in 17 years, organizers estimated the economic loss from the three-day event to be about $3 million. Bars and restaurants bought tons of additional stock and perishables to prep for crowds that won't arrive. It’ll probably take a few years before the NCAA can bring the tournament back to many of the cities slated to host games next week. “It’s incredibly disheartening. There’s no question about that,” said Mark Bardack, president of public relations and management firm Ed Lewi and Associates, which had worked for more than a year on the planning of the tournament in Albany. “To have it all disappear, though obviously no one’s fault.” Some arena workers, many not wanting to be identified because of workplace policies about speaking to reporters, said they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. They’re not alone, of course: A study last fall by the American Payroll Association said 74% of workers in the U.S. would “experience financial difficulty” if their usual payday was delayed by as little as one week. In Philadelphia, Rodney Thompson works on commission selling popcorn and beer at 76ers basketball games, Flyers hockey games and Phillies baseball games. They’re all on hold. "The more I sell, the more I make,” the 56-year-old said. “The less I sell, the less I make. It would hurt me, financially. I would have no income coming in. ... I make pretty good money. But if there's no fans, there's no work.” ___ AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington, AP Sports Writers Tom Withers in Cleveland, David Brandt in Scottsdale, Arizona, Josh Dubow in San Francisco, Stephen Hawkins in Dallas and Dan Gelston in Philadelphia, and Associated Press Writers Matthew Carlson and Tim Cronin in Chicago contributed to this report. ___ The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2020

Scrubbed: March Madness leads long list of canceled sports

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer The world's sports schedule cratered at warp speed Thursday, with one of the biggest events on the U.S. calendar, the fun-filled and colorful college basketball tournament known as March Madness, becoming the first mega-event to be scrubbed due to fear of the spread of the coronavirus. Leaders at all levels of sports, including the NCAA, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, tennis and soccer, decided the risk of playing games with the threat of the virus hanging over them was too great despite the billions of dollars — to say nothing of the trophies, pride and once-in-a-lifetime experiences — hanging in the balance. By late in the afternoon of an extraordinary, headline-a-minute day across a pandemic-rattled globe, the NCAA, which regulates March Madness and virtually all major U.S. college sports, basically had no choice. With conferences and individual teams calling off their basketball seasons at breakneck pace, the NCAA followed suit. They scrapped all college winter and spring championships, the highlight of which is the men's basketball tournament — a three-week extravaganza that stands as the biggest event this side of the Super Bowl on the U.S. sports calendar. The cancellation leaves a massive hole in American sports — from campuses across the country, to a growing passel of sports-betting businesses that rely on college hoops money, to say nothing of the hearts of players who were poised to get their first, or last, or only chance to shine on the big stage. All of it was to be covered by CBS and its partners; about 80 percent of the NCAA's $1.05 billion annual budget is bankrolled by the money the networks pay to present the 68-team tournament over the air, on cable and online. “This is bigger than a sport or championship,” said Kansas University coach Bill Self, whose team would've been the likely favorite to win it all. Hours earlier, Kansas and Duke had each taken matters into their own hands, announcing they wouldn't be sending any of their teams to games, no matter the stakes. It wasn't even the most jaw-dropping moment of the morning. That came, fittingly, at one of the world's most renowned sports venues — Madison Square Garden — where at halftime of a Big East Conference tournament game, the PA announcer came on and said the tournament had been called. By then, every major conference, and virtually all of the minor ones, had done the same thing. They were prompted in part by the NCAA's decision a day earlier to hold all its tournament games — which had been scheduled to start next week in nine cities and close April 6 at a 71,000-seat stadium in Atlanta — in front of friends and family and limited “essential” personnel. Only 24 hours later, with the stock market tanking, mixed messages coming out of Washington and no promise of quick relief being offered by world health experts, it became even more clear that gatherings involving thousands of people were hard to justify. Also clear: The NCAA would have trouble assembling an equitable bracket for its tournament, given that most games designed to suss out the most-deserving teams and automatic qualifiers had already been scrubbed. “I’m not a researcher in immunology or infectious disease, but those who are engaged at the NCAA level provided some stark information yesterday,” said Greg Sankey, the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. The March Madness news meant it will be a world free of basketball for the foreseeable future. A day after the NBA put its season on temporary hiatus, a second member of the Utah Jazz — Donovan Mitchell — tested positive for the coronavirus. The league said its suspension would last for at least 30 days — possibly a conservative guess, as teams undertake the task of identifying any player or referee who has had recent contact with the Jazz, then putting them into isolation for the required two weeks. “What would kill the NBA season is if more players catch it,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in an interview on CNBC. He called the hiatus a matter of “us being vigilant, as all businesses should be. Businesses are going to have to be incredibly vigilant, and that's hard.” The NHL also suspended its season, though it did not report any positives for COVID-19. Major League Baseball scrapped spring training and postponed the start of its season, currently scheduled for March 26, for at least two weeks. Before the start of one of the biggest golf tournaments on the calendar, the PGA Tour announced that the last three rounds of The Players Championship, best known for the rowdy gatherings around the island green on the 17th hole, would be played without fans. The same goes for the three events that follow, all of which lead into the Masters, which was, for the time being, slated to go on as scheduled the week of April 6. The LPGA postponed three tournaments, beginning next week, including its first major of the season. Tennis will also be canceling events. The ATP called off men's tournaments for the next six weeks; the WTA said its tournament in South Carolina, set for April 6-12, would not be held as scheduled, with decisions about the rest of the season to come in the next week. NASCAR announced it would race the next two weekends, in Atlanta and Miami, without fans, and IndyCar made the same decision for its race this weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida. Horse races were going on in several states, though without fans in the stands — leaving the parimutuel wagers to be made online; organizers of the Kentucky Derby were moving forward with plans for the May 2 race. The NFL, never off the radar even in the depths of the offseason, announced a number of changes and cancellations on its schedule of meetings, fan fest and scouting trips — all related to coronavirus. The U.S.-based Major League Soccer said it would shut down for a target period of 30 days. Earlier in the day, soccer leagues and teams scrambled to make changes: —Belgium's soccer league backpedaled on an earlier decision, and decided to close stadiums to fans. —A Champions League game involving Real Madrid was postponed after the Spanish team puts its players in quarantine. —Dutch soccer authorities canceled all matches through the end of the month, including friendlies against the United States and Spain. —Also, a second player from Italy's top soccer division tested positive. All sports in that hard-hit country have been suspended through April 3. For once, there were no major announcements coming out of Tokyo, where conflicting messages about the status of this summer's Olympics have come out of the country, and the IOC, for weeks. Instead, the IOC went ahead with its ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame, an event held in front of the ruined Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia. "We are strengthened ... by the many authorities and sports organizations around the world which are taking so many significant measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” IOC president Thomas Bach said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2020

Ateneo football star Jarvey Gayoso wraps up legendary UAAP career

Ateneo football star Jarvey Gayoso announced that he will be foregoing his fifth and final playing year in the UAAP to prepare for a professional club stint overseas.  In a lengthy, heartfelt post on Instagram, Gayoso announced that he would not be returning to the Ateneo Men's Football Team this year, just days before the start of the UAAP Football tournaments.  "After much thought and deliberation, and with the guidance of Ateneo de Manila University and the AMFT, I have decided not to return to the UAAP this year," Gayoso wrote. " Although this was a tough decision to make, ultimately I had to choose what I believe would be what’s best for me and my future." The opportunity, Gayoso detailed, came following his most recent National Team call-up during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games here in the Philippines.  "After my stint at this year’s South East Asian games, God blessed me with an opportunity to play professional football overseas. Thus, in preparation for this huge task, I have made the decision to join a local professional team." The 22-year old added that he will continue to finish schooling in the Ateneo, as this was a 'lifelong dream.'          View this post on Instagram                   After much thought and deliberation, and with the guidance of Ateneo de Manila University and the AMFT, I have decided not to return to the UAAP this year. Although this was a tough decision to make, ultimately I had to choose what I believe would be what’s best for me and my future. After my stint at this year’s South East Asian games, God blessed me with an opportunity to play professional football overseas. Thus, in preparation for this huge task, I have made the decision to join a local professional team. I will, however, continue to pursue my college degree at the Ateneo, as this has also been a lifelong goal. I have played my heart out for the Ateneo for 8 wonderful years. 8 years that have brought me trials, triumph, and memories I will keep with me forever. As a student, my biggest task was to balance my academics and my love for the sport and along with this, came setbacks that tested my ambition. Being an athlete, I was given the opportunity to compete in football and track and field which strengthened my athleticism and versatility. As a football player, I have suffered devastating losses which helped build my character. And taking on the responsibility of representing my country and my alma mater showed my heart and my passion for the beautiful game. So to my dear Ateneo, I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to strive for an Ateneo education, while proudly representing the blue and white. Playing for the Ateneo has improved every aspect of my life and opened numerous doors for me and I could never thank you enough. Choosing the Ateneo was and will always be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. To the 12th men, thank you for your continuous support and love for the game and for cheering us on through every minute. Thank you for all your sacrifices - for coming to watch our games under the heat of the sun, taking the time off your busy schedules to watch us do what we’re most passionate about, and for crying, celebrating, and fighting with us. (1/2) A post shared by Jarvey Gayoso (@jarveygayoso) on Feb 5, 2020 at 7:11am PST           View this post on Instagram                   To my teammates, thank you for being a part of my journey as a player. You have all taught me many important things in football and constantly pushed me to be the best that I can be for the team. Thank you all for giving your one big fight whenever we’d face the most difficult situations. We have gone through painful losses, celebrated championship highs, some players have been with me since high school, while others were new faces, but one thing was constant throughout, we were a brotherhood, a wolf pack. It has been an honor playing alongside each and every one of you. To the coaching staff, managers and coach JP Merida, thank you for guiding me to become who I am today. Thank you for pushing me to work my hardest and trusting me to give my all for the team. You have always been like a father to me, coach. I’m thankful that we were able to achieve championships together. I believed in your system and coaching style and it has led, not only me, but the entire football program to greater heights. I know I carry a big part of your legacy and I will continue to keep it as my inspiration wherever my passion takes me. To my family, I thank you for your undying support. Thank you for keeping me grounded and guiding me through situations I couldn’t deal with on my own. I stand proud representing the Ocampo-Gayoso name across my jersey knowing I have such wonderful people in my life cheering me on. You’ve all inspired me to continue carrying the torch Lolo Ed and Lolo Poch once carried. It’s a scary step I’m about to take but knowing that you will all be there for me makes this journey a whole lot more exciting. The Ateneo and the Ateneo Men’s football team have prepared me well enough for my next step. I know the team will continue to represent the Ateneo name with the highest honor. As I continue on with my journey, know that my heart will ALWAYS BLEED BLUE. I will continuously strive to leave a legacy in this beloved school and I will always carry the Jesuit values instilled in me. You have all been a blessing in my journey and I hope to continue to make all of you proud. This is Jarvey Ocampo Gayoso, number 11 signing off! (2/2) A post shared by Jarvey Gayoso (@jarveygayoso) on Feb 5, 2020 at 7:11am PST A third-generation sports star, Jarvey is the son of PBA veteran Jayvee Gayoso and the grandson of Filipino sporting great Ed Ocampo, and the nephew of De La Salle coach and former National Team member Alvin Ocampo.  In his four seasons in the UAAP, Gayoso was nothing but impressive as he was able to lead the Blue Eagles to two UAAP Men's Football Championships (Season 79, Season 81) and a Runner-Up finish in Season 78, while also claiming two Most Valuable Player Honors and a remarkable four Best Striker nods. During his time in the UAAP, the Blue Eagles never missed a final four appearance. Gayoso will likely go down in UAAP and Ateneo history as one of the best to ever lace up a pair of football cleats. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2020

Clippers beat Pistons 126-112; George leaves with hamstring tightness

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Montrezl Harrell scored 23 points and the Los Angeles Clippers survived without Paul George in the second half to beat the Detroit Pistons 126-112 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), winning consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 13 (Dec. 14, PHL time). George didn't return after halftime because of left hamstring tightness. He finished with 12 points. Lou Williams added 22 points and Kawhi Leonard had 18 in three quarters for the Clippers, who had alternated wins and losses for nearly three weeks. Bruce Brown led nine Pistons in double figures with 15 points. Andre Drummond added 10 points and 12 rebounds. They've lost four in a row on the road and eight of nine overall. Trailing by nine, the Clippers took control in the second quarter. They outscored the Pistons 35-20, including runs of 9-0 and 10-0, to take a 69-63 lead into halftime. George hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Leonard followed with another 3. Seven different Clippers scored in the spurts. Once George was sidelined, his teammates stepped up. Landry Shamet hit consecutive 3-pointers that extended the lead to 18 points in the third. Maurice Harkless, who started, Williams and Harrell combined to score 13 of the Clippers' final 15 points and send them into the fourth leading 106-79. Detroit scored on consecutive possessions just once in the third. Harrell and Williams anchored the second unit in the fourth when the starters rested. The Pistons outscored the Clippers 33-20, but they had too big a deficit to overcome. TIP-INS Pistons: They're on a trip with at least one game in each time zone for the first time since Dec. 5-16, 1979. ... Nearly two years after Blake Griffin's shocking trade from the Clippers to Detroit, he's the only one of six players involved still on either roster. Clippers: Patrick Beverley is expected back in the next couple games from a sprained right wrist. ... At 10-5, they tied for the league's third-best record in December. ... So far the Clippers have scored at least 130 points in six games, tied for second-most in the NBA. NO GRIFFIN Griffin sat out with left knee soreness against his former team. Clipper Darrell shouted, “I paid my money and I want to see Blake Griffin!”, drawing a smile from Griffin seated on the bench. The crowd then began chanting, “We want Blake! We want Blake!” REMEMBERING STERN Doc Rivers recalled that David Stern was the first call he received after being fired as Orlando coach in 2003. "I'm thinking, `Wow, this is a cool thing. When you get fired the commissioner calls,'" Rivers said. "But he was calling me to tell me was that tomorrow ABC was going to offer me the job and I better take it." Rivers did, working with Al Michaels as a TV commentator for one season before returning to coaching with the Boston Celtics. "He was the sheriff with love," Rivers said of Stern, who died Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). "People don't remember this league when he came in. This was a tough league. This was a drug-infested, image-problem league. David Stern came in and cleaned it up and kept it going." Detroit coach Dwane Casey credited Stern for doing more than any other sports commissioner to promote race relations and women in the workplace. “I am a product of the '60s and I've seen everything, discrimination, segregation, and David made it known from the very start that he wanted diversity in the NBA,” Casey said. "He wanted it in the front offices and in the coaching ranks, and he made it happen." There was a pregame moment of silence for Stern. UP NEXT Pistons: Visit Golden State on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in the middle of their six-game trip. Clippers: Host Memphis on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), a team the Clippers beat by two points on Nov. 27 (Nov. 28, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

Tokyo Olympics say costs $12.6B; Audit report says much more

By Stephen Wade and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers said Friday they are spending 1.35 trillion Japanese yen — about $12.6 billion — to stage next year's games. Organizers said the expenditure is unchanged from a year ago, although robust sponsorship and ticket sales have generated a contingency fund of an extra $300 million. However, Japan's National Audit Board, in a 177-page report prepared for the national legislature, said next year's Olympics will cost much more than organizers say. The audit lists an added $9.7 billion (1.06 trillion yen) it says are Olympic-related costs that have not been included. In addition, the city of Tokyo has previously said it would spend another $7.4 billion (810 trillion yen) on Olympic-related projects. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said at the time the spending was "for projects directly and indirectly related to the games.” She said this included building barrier-free facilities for Paralympic athletes, training programs for volunteers, and advertising and tourism plans. Organizers argue that many of these costs are not tied directly to the Olympics. The audit board, however, came up with similar findings a year ago. “As in the previous year, their report did not classify the cost of these items and activities based on their direct relevance to the games," Tokyo organizers said in a statement to the Associated Press. “It aggregated a wide range of projects that could be seen as contributing to the games, including those that were implemented without regard to the games." The respected Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei and the daily Asahi also calculated Olympic costs. They said spending was far above what organizers contend. They also placed overall spending at about 3 trillion yen, or about $28 billion. The audit board report urged more transparency. “In order to disclose information to the public and gain their understanding about operations that the government should shoulder, the government Olympic and Paralympic office should disclose more by grasping the overall picture of the operations and costs," the audit said. The only non-public money being spent to fund the Olympics is from the privately funded, $5.6 billion operating budget. Revenue for this budget comes from sponsorships, ticket sales, and marketing — and from a contribution from the International Olympic Committee. The rest is taxpayer money from the national government, the city of Tokyo, and other government bodies. When Tokyo was awarded the Olympics in 2013, the bid committee projected total costs would be $7.3 billion. Organizers also reported this week that demand in Japan for Olympic tickets is about 20 times over supply. This has led to criticism on social media by Japanese upset they cannot get tickets to an Olympics they are funding through their taxes. Tracking Olympic costs is always disputed amid arguments over what are — and what are not — Olympic expenditures. The IOC and local organizers usually claim a lower figure. In fact, the IOC has repeatedly emphasized how it has cut billions in Tokyo by having organizers use existing venues, or build temporary venues. The Tokyo Olympics open on July 24 and close Aug. 9. They are followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 25 through Sept. 6. The International Olympic Committee has been criticized for the rising costs of the Olympics, and the perception it forces host cities to build “white elephant”sports venues. In the last several years it has tried to re-brand itself, emphasizing the use of existing venues and giving host cities choices in how they organize. In a study on Olympic spending done in 2016 by the University of Oxford, author Bent Flyvbjerg explained the Olympics and cost overruns. “It’s the most amazing thing that the Olympic games are the only type of mega-project to always exceed their budget,” Flyvbjerg said in an interview. “We think it's because they always have to be on time. There's no way you can move the opening dates. ... So all you can do when problems begin — and problems always begin on projects of this size — it to throw more money at the project. And that's what you do at the Olympics.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 20th, 2019

ONE Championship: Andun pa yung fire - Eduard Folayang highly motivated as he begins his comeback

After absorbing back-to-back defeats for just the second time in his professional mixed martial arts career, Filipino star Eduard “Landslide” Folayang once again finds himself on the comeback trail as he tries to once again have his hand raised in victory inside the ONE Circle.  The former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion dropped the title to Shinya Aoki in the first defense of his second run as champion back in March, and then followed that up with a loss to Eddie Alvarez in August.  At 34 years of age, there really isn’t much left for Folayang to prove. A professional since 2007, Folayang has a respectable 21-8 professional record which includes championships in regional promotions and two world championship runs under the ONE banner. As it stands, he is already the face of Filipino MMA.  If he were to, say, hang his gloves up and dedicate his life to coaching future champions from Team Lakay, it’s highly unlikely that anyone would take it against him.  Yet, Folayang is gearing up for a return to action at ONE: Masters of Fate this coming Friday, November 8th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Manila, Philippines. He faces Mongolian up-and-comer Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhu in the co-main event. When asked what keeps him motivated, even after back-to-back losses, the former Philippine Wushu National Team Member and multiple-time SEA Games gold medalist says that he believes there’s still a lot for him to show.  “Yung pakiramdam na alam mong mayroon ka pang potential, hindi mo pa nai-uunleash yung full potential mo, yun yung parang nagpapalakas sa akin, na hindi pa dapat mag-give up, kasi still, andun parin yung fire na mag-rise up again,” Folayang told ABS-CBN Sports. “I think purposely, inallow ni God [yung mga losses ko] para makita ko yung mga areas na kailangan kong ayusin and yung mga pagkakamali talaga na kailangan kong iwasan sa mga future bouts ko.” For Folayang, the Alvarez bout in Manila last August is one that stung quite a bit.  A former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion, Alvarez’s signing with ONE was met with lots of hype and anticipation. As early as then, a potential matchup with Folayang was already something that fans of the Asian martial arts promotion were intrigued to see.  When the bout was finally going to take place, it was billed as a must-see matchup between two of the division’s biggest stars.  Indeed, the bout lived up to the hype as it included a little bit of everything that a fight fan would want to see. Folayang, a striking expert, was the more aggressive fighter on the feet and was able to use his best weapon - his tree-trunk legs - to do damage and chop Alvarez down.  Once he had dropped “The Underground King” Folayang went in for the kill, and that eagerness to get the finish was what ultimately led to the Pinoy hero’s downfall in the match.  While obviously hurt by the chopping leg kick he had absorbed just moments earlier, Alvarez remained composed as he tried to survive the landslide of strikes coming from Folayang. The American found his opening and flipped Folayang over for the reversal before taking the Filipino’s back and finally getting the Rear Naked Choke Submission, forcing the hometown bet to tap out.  “Gina-gauge ko yung sarili ko eh, alam mo yun? Yung expectations ko sa kanya, hindi ganun eh. Sobrang taas, tapos nung laglaban kami, naramdaman ko, pero siyempre, nakalimutan ko siguro na magaling din siya sa ground, or either nang-gigil ako na gusto kong tumayo ulit para tapusin na namin yung laban sa taas,” Folayang explained.  “Siguro yun yung naging mga pagkakamali ko that time, na ayaw ko maulit. Hindi ako naging composed sa sarili ko, nakalimutan ko na yung laban ay mixed martial arts, kung saan lahat ng angle, kapag dun ka kinuha, kahit nananalo ka na sa isang area, hindi yun yung laban eh. Yung laban ay yung kung natapos na. Siguro yun yung parang nakita ko na nagkamali ako,” he added.  Had Folayang won, he would have advanced to the Finals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix at ONE: Century in Tokyo, Japan.  Alvarez ultimately pulled out after an injury had barred him from competing in the finale against Turkey’s Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev. Arslanaliev ultimately lost to Christian Lee, who stepped in as Alvarez’s replacement.  Throughout his career, Folayang has had some rather heartbreaking losses, but the Alvarez one has to be up there as one of the most, especially since he was quite dominant in the opening moments of the bout.  Folayang admits that it took quite a bit for him to get over that.  “Hindi [ako agad naka-get over] eh, kasi everytime, may makaka-salubong na na ireremind sayo, ‘Sayang!’ yung ganun,” But it was also that bout against Alvarez - specifically that sequence that nearly ended the fight in his favor - that somehow made him realize what he is still capable of.   “Dun ko din talaga nakita na, kung yung ganung level ni Alvarez, sa kalakasan niya, nasurpass ko, I think mayroon pa talaga eh. Hindi ko pa talaga nare-reach yung full potential ko eh, may mas maipapakita pa ako na mas magandang performance, lalo na kapag idinagdag ko yung mga experience ko na kagaya nung mga ganung experience.” To help move past the loss, Folayang returned to the gym to help his teammates who were getting ready for their big matches in Tokyo.  Hardly taking any damage in the loss to Alvarez, Folayang was pretty much in shape to get back in action, and a small window of opportunity appeared when it was announced that Alvarez had pulled out.  According to ONE Championship Chairman Chatri Sityodtong, Folayang was the first option to replace Alvarez, but with just around two weeks left before fight night, visa issues prevented the Filipino star from stepping in, opening the door for Lee to do so.  “Siyempre, hindi naman natin alam kung ano yung mangyayari, kasi professional na tayo, kailangan lagi parin tayong handa, although siyempre, yung nasa utak natin talaga ay gusto natin lumaban, kaya nagte-training pa din. So nung sinabi yung late replacement kay Dagi, nag-oo ako, pero unfortunately, hindi talaga siguro time,” Folayang said.  The time for Folayang’s comeback, as it turns out, was the month after.  Facing a relatively unknown opponent in Tsogookhu, Folayang has the chance to get back on track and pick up a solid win, but it could also prove to be a high-risk challenge, as Tsogookhu was impressive in his debut against veteran Shannon Wiratchai.  Folayang says that he fully understands the risk behind the fight, but to be able to get back to the top of the division, he must be able to face risk head on.  “Yun yung maganda sa MMA, the more na naiintindihan mo na it’s high risk, alam mo yun. Kasi kahit sabihin mo na more experienced ka, kung mag-commit ka ng single mistake, kakainin ka eh, so, yun. We are fighters, as much as possible, kung sino man yung mag-sstand dun sa way natin, kailangan natin i-face para makabalik tayo doon sa inaasam natin.”   Catch ONE: MASTERS OF FATE live on Friday, November 8th LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 on LIVESTREAM via the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and on iWant starting at 8:30 PM. ONE: MASTERS OF FATE will also air on Sunday's Best on November 17th, Sunday, at 11:30 PM with local commentatry from Anton Roxas and Theo Castillo  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2019

Cayetano clears issue on SEA Games uniforms

Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Foundation, Inc. chairman Alan Peter Cayetano cleared the issue thrown at them regarding the alleged overpriced quotations of Team Philippines’ uniforms. Talking to the media on Thursday, Cayetano explained their side on the issue, denying the allegations made by the majority of the Philippine Olympic Committee Board that Team PHI's uniforms are “unreasonably” higher than the suggested retail prices in the company’s flagship store. PHISGOC Foundation tapped Asics as the official outfitter of Team PHI.        This and the legitimacy of PHISGOC Foundation as organizer of the biennial meet are some of the issues that the committee is facing just months before the scheduled staging of the Games in November. “Noong nakipag-usap sila sa ASICS they are willing to sponsor all the uniforms for 400, wala tayong ilalabas na pera dun, lahat yun. And ang uniform Olympic quality,” Cayetano cleared. Cayetano said that Asics, in their initial talks, agreed to sponsor all the uniforms in 400 events but a bargaining with the SEA Games Federation in the number of sports and events increased the number of sports to 56 and the events at 529 events.    “So paano yung 129 events, yung uniform nun? So unfair naman sa ASICS na ‘Oh sandali lang baguhin natin ang deal. Pumayag na kayo sa 400, pumayag naman kayo sa 529 kundi no deal,’” said Cayetano. “Kung nag-no deal then we have to pay for the uniforms for the 400 events.” As a compromise, Cayetano added that Asics asked them if they want they can pay for the uniforms of the remaining 129 events.   “Napasa ‘yan sa PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) because hindi pa napasa ang budget ng PHISGOC and PSC said dadaan sa procurement nila. So lahat ito ay proposals, pero ang procurement body ang magsasabi kung pwede o hindi,” he said. Cayetano denied the allegations that the uniforms are ‘overpriced’. The POC Board alleged that the PHISGOC Foundation request to PSC shows that a set of competition uniforms costs P51,5111 while the company’s quotation for the same item during the 18th Asian Games last year was only P25,000. “Ang problema instead of bringing it up with the board and mag-usap, naghanap ng outlet, kinompare yung presyo. Eh iba naman siguro po ang nasa outlet, sa retail and yung sa Olympic number,” said Cayetano. “But as I said we can discuss it.” “Imagine yung 129 is 1/5, yung 400 libre so para wala na lang issue, sabihin na lang natin sa Asics iba na lang, we’ll pay for all 529? Yung mga nagko-comment ng ayaw nun, saan kukunin ang pera? They’re not willing to sponsor it. They want us to use government money for it,” added Cayetano. The PHISGOC Foundation head said that they can raise these issues at a proper venue or through an audience with them, not through press releases and separate interviews. “They should also understand that they can criticize but we also have to deliver,” he said. “If they’re criticisms are valid then we have to reform.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 20th, 2019

Paralympics faces further cuts amid Rio funding crisis

ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer   RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — More cuts will be made to services for athletes at the Paralympics next month unless additional funding is rapidly secured for the cash-strapped games in Rio de Janeiro, official.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2016

Olympics: Key Russia findings could cast shadow over Rio

PARIS, France – The Olympic movement faces division in a critical week ahead of the Rio Games with a report Monday, July 18, to set out whether Russia manipulated doping samples, followed quickly by a sports tribunal verdict on 68 Russian athletes deman.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 18th, 2016

NSAs may directly nominate SEAG bets

The Philippine Olympic Committee will allow the different national sports associations to nominate athletes to the Philippine delegation to the 31st SEA Games slated Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 in Hanoi, Vietnam in the possible absence of qualifying tournaments......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2021