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Pinoy bets doing great in combat sports – Striegl

By CARLO ANOLIN           Filipino-American fighter Mark Striegl is not looking far away when it comes to the Philippines’ competitiveness in combat sports. Striegl, who grew up in the mountains of Baguio, lauded the famed Benguet-based stable Team Lakay for making a name in mixed martial arts globally. When asked during […].....»»

Category: newsSource: tempo tempoOct 17th, 2020

ONE Championship: Pinoy Roel Rosauro victorious at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW in Bangkok

BANGKOK, THAILAND - The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), put together another electric martial arts extravaganza at Bangkok’s sprawling IMPACT Arena last Friday night, 10 January. ONE: A NEW TOMORROW featured the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent, who all showcased their incredible skills inside the ONE Championship ring. Kicking off the action at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW were featherweights Roel Rosauro of the Philippines and “The Ice Man” Yohan Mulia Legowo of Indonesia. Rosauro, a Filipino national Muay Thai champion, put together a clinical display of striking for three rounds, tagging Legowo with punishing combinations to the head and midsection. Although Legowo would give Rosauro a good challenge, he was a step behind constantly throughout the bout. All three judges saw the bout in favor of the Filipino to win by unanimous decision. In the main event, Thailand’s own Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon put on a striking clinic, needing just three rounds to finish off former world champion Jonathan “The General” Haggerty of England to retain the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship.  Rodtang closed the show in impressive fashion, stopping Haggerty via technical knockout behind staggering body shots and his usual forward aggressiveness. Rodtang set the tone early in the bout, landing a shot to the body that sent Haggerty down to the canvas in round one. Rodtang continued to put the pressure on Haggerty in the third round as the Thai star scored three consecutive knockdowns to put the challenger away and successfully defend his title. In the co-main event, two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand remained perfect in her mixed martial arts career after defeating India’s Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar by first-round technical knockout. A botched takedown attempt from Tomar led to Stamp taking her back and eventually getting to back-mount. From there, Stamp began to punish Tomar with punches and elbows to get the stoppage victory and move one step closer to the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship. Thailand’s own “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Sathian Muaythai put on a kicking clinic as he punished Japan’s Kenta Yamada en route to a unanimous decision win in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest. From the opening bell, Sangmanee peppered Yamada with a barrage of kicks to the legs, body, and head. Yamada remained game and kept coming forward, but that did little to stop Sangmanee from unloading even more kicks, as the seven-time world champion cruised to a dominant decision victory in his home country.  Vietnamese-American Thanh Le continues to steamroll through the featherweight division after knocking out Japan’s Ryogo “Kaitai” Takahashi in the first round. Le connected on a thunderous right hand that dropped Takahashi and spelled the beginning of the end. Le, sensing a finish was within reach, turned up the aggression and swarmed on Takahashi, landing punches and knees to end the bout midway through the opening round.  England’s Liam “Hitman” Harrison opened the main card in spectacular fashion, scoring a first-round knockout win over Malaysia’s Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud in a Muay Thai bout. Harrison, an eight-time Muay Thai world champion, scored the first knockdown early in the first round after connecting on a well-placed left hook. Mohammed answered the count, but would be sent right back down moments later, courtesy of a succession of elbows from Harrison. “Hitman” then took “Jordan Boy” out with a flurry of punches that forced the referee to step in and end the bout.  In a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest, three-time Muay Thai World Champion “The Elbow Zombie” Muangthai PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym put on a show in front of his hometown fans, eking out a split decision win over Algerian former ONE World Title challenger Brice “The Truck” Delval. Muangthai got off to a slow start but picked up steam in the second round, as he began to walk through Delval’s shots while landing punches and kicks of his own. Muangthai continued to push the action in the final round, coming forward and landing strikes as Delval tried to evade the contact. The continuous pressure was enough for Muangthai to earn the hard-fought unanimous decision.  Russian Hand-to-Hand Combat World Champion Raimond Magomedaliev impressed in his second appearance on the ONE Championship stage, dominating American newcomer and COGA Welterweight Champion Joey “Mama’s Boy” Pierotti. Pierotti was certainly a game challenger for the duration of the contest, however, Magomedaliev picked this evening to show off his impeccable striking. He sliced the American with a plethora of sharp elbows to start the bout. Pierotti tried to fall back on his wrestling, but Magomedaliev proved his ring savvy by avoiding a war on the mat with great takedown defense. Just under four minutes in, Magomedaliev swept Pierotti from underneath and then quickly sunk in the bout-ending guillotine choke. In a ONE Super Series kickboxing bout, 2-time IFMA Muay Thai World Champion Adam Noi of Algeria delivered a thorough three-round performance, defeating Victor “Leo” Pinto of France by decision. Noi shocked Pinto in the first round, catching him with a question mark kick that put his opponent on the canvas. Pinto, however, beat the count and was back on his feet to end the frame. Action continued in the second round, with both men going back and forth with powerful combinations. The third round was again close, as the two warriors traded strikes at the center of the ONE Championship ring. Though Pinto showed great defense, Noi’s attacks were on point, enough for the judges to award him the unanimous nod. ONE Warrior Series contract winner Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg of Mongolia made his ONE Championship main roster debut in spectacular fashion, knocking out top-rated Chinese featherweight “Cannon” Ma Jia Wen of China in under a minute. Shinechagtga was aggressive from the opening bell, actively seeking to finish with explosive striking combinations. At the 55-second mark, Shinechagtga caught Ma coming in, connecting on a thudding overhand right that turned the lights out on the Chinese athlete. Shinechagtga threw 29 total strikes, seven of which were significant strikes to the head. In a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest, ISKA and WBC World Champion Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout of Algeria took on Top King Muay Thai World Champion and former ONE World Title challenger Han Zi Hao of China. Zatout was aggressive to start the bout, but Han was slightly more accurate with his shots. In the second round, Han started off strong, while Zatout came on late with a flurry. By the end of the frame, Han began to fall behind as Zatout picked up the pace. In a close final round, Zatout pulled away in the last minute with accurate combinations to earn a close split decision. Japanese female strawweight Ayaka Miura continued her run of excellence with a dominant showing against Brazilian newcomer and Pan American Sanda Champion Maira Mazar. Miura, a 3rd degree Judo Black Belt, showcased her tremendous grappling skills early, scoring on a spectacular headlock takedown. On the mat, Miura went to her favorite scarfhold position to do damage. In the second round, another headlock takedown from Miura led to an Americana submission, which forced Mazar to tap. Official results for ONE: A NEW TOMORROW ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship: Rodtang Jitmuangnon defeats Jonathan Haggerty by Technical Knockout (TKO) at 2:39 minutes of round 3 Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Stamp Fairtex defeats Puja Tomar by Technical Knockout (TKO) at 4:27 minutes of round 1 Muay Thai Bantamweight: Sangmanee Sathian Muaythai defeats Kenta Yamada by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight: Thanh Le defeats Ryogo Takahashi by Knockout (KO) at 2:51 minutes of round 1 Muay Thai Bantamweight: Liam Harrison defeats Mohammed Bin Mahmoud by Knockout (KO) at 2:03 minutes of round 1 Muay Thai Bantamweight: Muangthai PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym defeats Brice Delval by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight: Raimond Magomedaliev defeats Joey Pierotti by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 3:50 minutes of round 1 Kickboxing Bantamweight: Adam Noi defeats Victor Pinto by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight: Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg defeats Ma Jia Wen by Knockout (KO) at 0:55 minutes of round 1 Muay Thai Bantamweight: Mehdi Zatout defeats Han Zi Hao by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Strawweight: Ayaka Miura defeats Maira Mazar by Submission (Americana) at 3:01 minutes of round 2 Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight: Roel Rosauro defeats Yohan Mulia Legowo by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

New Stars and New Eras: A look back at MMA in 2019

2019 was once again a pretty eventful year in terms of mixed martial arts, especially on the local front. In 2019, we saw Pinoy stars rise and fall, and some have managed to rise again before the decade’s end. Before we look forward to 2020, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest storylines in the world of Filipino, Asian and international mixed martial arts.   Team Lakay’s Troubles 2019 kicked off with not one, not two, but five world champions from the famed Filipino MMA stable Team Lakay. Pinoy MMA icon Eduard Folayang was on his second run as the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Kevin Belingon was enjoying his status as the ONE Bantamweight World Champion, Geje Eustaquio reigned over the flyweight division as the ONE Flyweight World Champion, and rising star Joshua Pacio, the ONE Strawweight World Champion, was the team’s youngest titleholder. Outside ONE, Stephen Loman continued on his reign as the BRAVE CF Bantamweight World Champion. And then, the dominoes began to fall. Pacio was the first to drop his title, losing a close split decision to Japan’s Yosuke Saruta. Eustaquio followed suit, dropping a controversial decision to rival Adriano Moraes, and then Folayang and Belingon would also lose their titles in heartbreaking fashion at ONE: A New Era in Japan. It was, to say the least, a rough start to the year for the Benguet-based team, but they would manage to bounce back before the year was done, with Folayang and Eustaquio both claiming wins to end the year.   The Rise of "The Passion" 23-year old prodigy Joshua “The Passion” Pacio was the youngest member of Team Lakay to hold a title heading into 2019, and heading into 2020, he remains the lone member of  Team Lakay to hold a ONE world title. After losing to Yosuke Saruta in January, Pacio was granted an immediate rematch and made good on the second opportunity by blasting Saruta with a head kick to score the KO and reclaim the ONE Strawweight World Championship. Pacio would then take on the clear-cut number one contender in fellow Pinoy Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan, and make quick work of him as well, scoring a second-round submission win to retain the title. Even before the end of the year, Pacio already has his next assignment, as he’s set to face former champion Alex Silva at ONE: Fire and Fury in Manila on January 31st. A win for Pacio cements his status as one of, if not, the best ONE strawweight ever. While Team Lakay’s 2019 was, for the most part, a struggle, Pacio was no doubt the Team’s brightest spot.   A New Era 2019 proved to be another milestone year for Asia-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship, as they were able to penetrate new markets in terms of live shows as well as broadcast deals. ONE began the year with a new partnership with Turner Broadcasting, which gave North American fans access to ONE’s brand of martial arts through B/R Live and TNT. In terms of live events, ONE was able to finally plant their flag in one of the biggest markets for MMA in the world, Japan. In March, ONE put on their first ever show in Japan, ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, which featured some of the promotion’s biggest names including  Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki, Angela Lee, Aung La N Sang, Eduard Folayang, and many more. To celebrate their historic 100th event, ONE returned to Tokyo for ONE: Century, their biggest card ever, featuring seven world title bouts and the promotion’s biggest stars, and then some.   In 2020, ONE plans to break through to even more new markets, possible including a show in the United States.   The ‘Return’ of Jon Jones While Jon Jones officially reclaimed his spot at the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division in December of 2018, it was in 2019 that he returned to his dominant ways. After stopping Alexander Gustafsson in 2018 to reclaim the UFC Light Heavyweight crown, Jones handily defeated tough challengers in Anthony Smith and Thiago “Maretta” Santos to retain the titles. While the Smith and Santos bouts were lackluster in the eyes of many, it showed that even on his bad days, Jon Jones is better than most people on their best days.   “Rush” Retires Again While it was something that was expected, 37-year old Georges St-Pierre officially retired from MMA, again, in February. The former long-time welterweight king and pound-for-pound great made a triumphant return to the UFC in 2017, dethroning Michael Bisping to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion. GSP would never get to defend the title, as he would relinquish it not long after due to concerns with ulcerative colitis. While GSP has remained inactive since, the whispers of a super-fight with reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remain present, and 2020 could possibly see that coming to fruition.   Grand Prix Greatness In 2019, ONE Championship introduced a new and exciting attraction, the ONE Lightweight and Flyweight World Grand Prix tournaments.  Eight of the best fighters from each division would battle it out in a tournament-style competition, and the winner would become the ONE World Grand Prix Champion and earn a title shot against the division's respective titleholder.  Making their debuts in the lightweight and flyweight tournaments were former UFC champs Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson respectively, and as it played out the two would have very different outcomes.  Alvarez saw himself get upset in the quarterfinals by Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin. The former UFC lightweight king would get another chance in the tournament after defeating Eduard Folayang in a last-minute semifinal matchup, but another injury would keep him out of the finale at ONE: Century in Tokyo. Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee ended up stepping in on short notice to defeat tournament favorite Saygid Guseyn Arslanalieve and become a double-champion.  Johnson, meanwhile, breezed through his quarterfinals and semifinals bouts to set up a finale showdown with Filipino star Danny Kingad. In the Finale, Kingad fought valiantly but ultimately fell to Johnson via Unanimous Decision, setting up a must-see matchup between DJ and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes in 2020.    Baddest Motherf**ker Jorge Masdival has long been a staple in the UFC’s lightweight ranks for years, but it wasn’t until 2019 that “Gamebred” made headlines. After a hiatus in 2018, Masvidal returned with a bang in 2019, knocking out former title challenger Darren Till, and then followed that up with a 5-second flying knee knockout over former ONE Welterweight king Ben Askren. The popularity and momentum that Masvidal had garnered was enough to bring a certain Stockton star out of retirement and that set up one of the most talked-about UFC title bouts in 2019: Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz for the title of Baddest Motherf**ker. Masvidal lived up to the name and pieced Diaz up with strikes in the early rounds, before eventually opening up a cut that was just too big for the fight to go on. Much to the dismay of Masvidal, Diaz, and the crowd in New York, the fight was stopped. Still, it was nothing short of a testament to just how dangerous the new and improved version of Jorge Masvidal is. Expect him to challenge for a title in 2020.   MMA stars shine in 2019 SEA Games A number of Pinoy mixed martial artists showcased their skills in different battlegrounds during the recently-concluded 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was held in the Philippines. from November 30 to December 11. Reigning URCC champion Mark “Mugen” Striegl took home gold in Combat Sambo, while former ONE title challenger Rene Catalan settled for Silver after an injury dashed his dreams of getting gold. Another URCC veteran in Ariel Lee Lampacan also took home SEA Games gold, this time in the Muay Thai competition. ONE Super Series veteran Ryan Jakiri took home silver. The SEA Games kickboxing event saw three MMA stars from Team Lakay take home gold medals, as Gina Iniong, Jerry Olsim, and Jean Claude Saclag all reigned over their respective divisions. Iniong, of course, is a ONE Women’s Atomweight contender, while Olsim is a veteran of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series. Saclag, meanwhile, is one of Team Lakay’s representatives in the Japan-based promotion Shooto.       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2019

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

Remember KYK’s kind words to Pinoy volleyball fans?

Filipino volleyball fans are the best in the world. They are extremely passionate, warm and very friendly.      Ask any foreign player who has played in the country about the local fans and the answer will be the same: it’s quite an experience. Even Korean volleyball star Kim Yeon-Koung experienced firsthand the one of a kind love of Pinoy fans for the sport. Three years ago KYK, who is one of the highest-paid and most popular volleyball stars in the world, came to the country to represent South Korea in the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship. Fourteen teams participated in the competition held at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna and at the Muntinlupa Sports Center. South Korea played in both venues and Pinoy fans would fill the arena to watch and cheer for the Koreans. Even KYK was surprised for the amount of love she and her teammates received from the crowd. “I didn’t expect that there’s much people supporting me here in the Philippines. When I came here I’m really surprised that a lot of people are supporting me and they know me,” she said then. The Korean superstar even went as far as saying that the Filipino fans made her feel like playing on home soil. “Thank you so much to the Filipino fans, when I play here (it feels) like I’m playing at home. It was great to play here,” she said. KYK's most memorable experience was when she received a bouquet of flowers from a four-year-old boy after Korea’s bronze medal win. But aside from the warmth of the supporters, the Philippine national team in that tournament earned the respect of KYK and Koreans. Although the Jaja Santiago and Alyssa Valdez-led Filipinas bowed down to the powerhouse opponents in straight sets in the quarterfinals classification round, the gritty host squad forced Korea to field KYK throughout the whole match for the first-time in the tournament. KYK also admired the improvement of the PHI squad compared to their match in the 2015 edition. KYK sat out in the said encounter in China. Overall, KYK truly enjoyed her stay in the country. All thanks to the Filipino fans.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2020

Mikey Garcia confident he can give Manny Pacquiao problems inside the ring

Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia is confident that he can give Filipino boxing star and eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao problems inside the ring, if they do get matched up.  Garcia has long been a name linked to Pacquiao as a possible opponent, and while the American top contender understands the magnitude of a possible Pacquiao versus Terence Crawford bout, he still would like to have the opportunity to share the ring with Pinoy boxing icon.  Garcia is coming off a decision win over former world champion Jessie Vargas, bouncing back from his first and only career loss to IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr. back in March of 2019.  The 32-year old sees a potential Pacquiao bout as a better matchup for him, given physical differences compared to Spence.  "He doesn’t have the height and reach advantage like Errol, so I think that makes it a better fight for me,” Garcia told Fox Sports (via BoxingScene.com). “I know he’s going to engage and I know he’s going to fight hard. He’s a great fighter. He's a living legend, and I would love to add that to my resume.” Much like most fighters today, Garcia sees facing the legendary Pacquiao as a way to boost their legacy, apart from the challenge of course.  “Fighting the great Manny Pacquiao would be tremendous for my legacy," said Garcia.  At 41 years old, it’s hard to claim that Pacquiao is still in his peak, but what he did prove was that he was still one of the best in the world, as evidenced by his performances against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman in 2019.  Those two wins, especially the one against Thurman, has made Pacquiao a coveted bout for the welterweight division’s best.  Garcia, who’s undoubtedly one of the division’s top contenders, believes that he can defeat Pacquiao, who’s the reigning WBA (Super) Welterweight World Champion.  "If I'm capable of securing a victory over him and that definitely adds to what I want to accomplish with my legacy and those big triumphs. I’m excited if we can get that fight, that would be the best fight,” Garcia stated.  “I know there are other opportunities for him, there's other options that you mentioned like Keith Thurman, maybe Errol Spence or Danny Garcia. I'm sure all of these are big fights for Manny, but I would love the opportunity as well. It's a great fight, the fanbase would love that. I have a lot of fans and he’s obviously the biggest draw,” Garcia added.  While Pacquiao is among those seriously being discussed for Crawford’s return later this year, a bout against Garcia still isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and Garcia says that if he does get the fight, he won’t squander the opportunity to do something big.  "So I think it would be a great fight. If I get that, I’m definitely taking care of business and I'm not gonna let this pass me by. I hope we secure that and look forward to it,” Garcia said, even comparing himself to a former Pacquiao rival in Juan Manuel Marquez. “I can fight really well. I feel that my boxing style can complicate things a lot for him similar to the way Marquez complicated things for Manny in all those fights." .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

Pinoy pug in Vegas return

Boxing is back in Las Vegas this month after the Nevada State Athletic Commission shut down the staging of combat sports last March 14 due to the pandemic, and superbantamweight Mike (Magic) Plania of General Santos City is set to become the first Filipino fighter in the ring anywhere in the world since the lockdown......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 31st, 2020

Pinoy Sports heroes pay tribute to their real MVPs on Mother’s Day

Athletes are some of the most celebrated and respected people in the world, no doubt.  We look up to athletes for their skills, and we idolize them for how they are, on and off their respective arenas.  But even the biggest athletes have their own idols, their own heroes, and their “’real MVPs”, to quote the great Kevin Durant.  While celebrating our mothers should really be a year-round thing, it won’t hurt to give them a little extra love on Mother’s Day, right?  That’s just what these Pinoy sports stars did for their first-ever coaches and their biggest fans, their mothers.          View this post on Instagram                   Happy momma’s day to our beautiful Rock. She’s been our fan since day one and you deserve all the credit. You and Papa. Through good games and bad, you cheered for us. Trials and challenges, you willed us through. We love you! Happy mother’s day to all the wonderful mothers out there! A post shared by Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena15) on May 9, 2020 at 11:01pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   So grateful to have the best mom, friend, coach, supporter, cheerleader, and teacher all in one. Everything I do is for you, and you are the reason behind all my achievements. But most of all, thank you for teaching me that those achievements mean nothing if i’m not a good person. ???? . . You’re my idol forever! Still hope to be like you when I grow up. ily and happy mother’s day?? . . grabe yung support, may tarp and all + yung yakap parang panalo na pero opening ceremonies palang toh ?? . #seagames2019 #wewinasone #karate #bestmom #karategirl #mom A post shared by Jamie Lim (@jamiechristinelim) on May 10, 2020 at 12:19am PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Happy Mother’s Day to the most amazing woman I gladly call mommy ???????????? Love you mom! ?? A post shared by Agatha Chrystenzen Wong (@agathawongy) on May 9, 2020 at 9:58pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Happy Mother‘s Day @josefinadaquis & @stephaniedaquis Love you both ?? A post shared by Rachel Anne Daquis, XFS (@rachdaquis13) on May 9, 2020 at 10:16pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   To the reason behind our victories and most especially why we can rise from a defeat, Happy Mother’s day Mudra! Thank you for all your unconditional love and sacrifices for the entire family ?? Everyday should be Mother’s day!!! ???? A post shared by Dani Ravena (@daniravenaaa) on May 9, 2020 at 11:48pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Happy Mother’s Day, mama! ILY ILY ???? A post shared by Wave Papi (@_kokoparas) on May 9, 2020 at 11:22pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! A post shared by Rex Intal ???????? (@rexintal) on May 9, 2020 at 9:34pm PDT         View this post on Instagram                   To all those who still have their mothers with them, please do me a favour and go hug your mothers as tightly as you all can, while you still have her. Happy mother’s day Ma, I love you and I wish I could hug you right now ???????????????????? A post shared by Ernestine Tiamzon (@ernietiamzon) on May 9, 2020 at 10:40pm PDT          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2020

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang is also a world champion dad

Filipino mixed martial arts star and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang will likely go down in Philippine sports history as one of the country's most celebrated combat sports athletes.  The Team Lakay star is considered the face of Philippine mixed martial arts, and has become a hero for many Pinoy fans.  Outside the cage however, Folayang, who is one of the nicest guys in the world, is also a champion father to his two daughters, 3-year old Yeshuareigns and 1-year old Yahamaziach.  “Eduard wants to give all his time to his kids. He goes home and the first thing he does is hug the kids, he always wants to play with them," said Folayang's wife Genevieve.  “What I appreciate the most is he’s very hands on. He feeds them himself, he puts them to sleep himself," she added.  Being a professional athlete however, Folayang spends a lot of time sharpening his tools and pushing himself to get better, which means that sometimes, it takes a toll on his time with his children.  “He always wants to teach his kids, but sometimes his [lack of] time becomes a problem,” Genevieve admitted.  Otherwise, the two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion has been nothing but an ace father.   “He researches things to teach to his girls at their age and how it can effectively be taught. He also attends seminars for parenting. As parents, we always think of learning new things on raising children," adds Genevieve.  With Folayang's martial arts career still very much alive, Genevieve has taken the role of homemaker, taking care of the children while Eduard continues to train and compete.  “Since we got married, we decided together that I stay at home,” she said. “I worked for one year, then I stopped when I was pregnant. I grew up with very hard-working parents, and they had limited time for us. So I know how that feels.” With a decorated mixed martial arts career and a beautiful family at home, clearly, the Folayangs are doing something right.  In the cage and at home, Eduard Folayang is a champion, just don't expect him to do much in the kitchen though.  “He might be very hands on, but just don’t expect him to cook," Genevieve jokes. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2020

Go supports welfare of boxers, combat bets

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reiterated yesterday his commitment to help Filipino athletes at the public hearing for two Senate Bills (SBs) that seek to create a Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 4th, 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

After SEA Games gold medal, Jerry Olsim sets sights on ONE Championship contract

Pinoy mixed martial artist Jerry “The Bokodian Warrior” Olsim can now proudly call himself a Southeast Asian Games Gold Medalist.  The 24-year old Olsim, a member of the famed Filipino MMA stable Team Lakay, was a kickboxing bet in the recently-held 2019 SEA Games Kickboxing competitions at the Cuneta Astrodome in Manila, and he ended up being the first Pinoy to capture a gold medal, winning in the Men’s 65-KG Kick Light category, Monday evening.  “Sobrang saya ko po ngayon dahil ako yung pinaka-unang nag-medal sa sport ng kickboxing,” Olsim told ABS-CBN Sports. He was in attendance Tuesday evening to see his teammates Gina Iniong and Jean Claude Saclag also capture SEA Games Kickboxing gold medals as well.  For Olsim, the gold medal win is a testament of how far he’s come in martial arts.  “Noong una po, sa Muay Thai, natatalo-talo po ako, hanggang silver lang ako sa East Asian Championships,” said the former Muay Thai National Team member. “Dito po, naki-try out ako nung may try-out sa kickboxing noong July, and nakuha naman ako, sinuwerte, dahil ako yung nag-gold. Nag-training kami, training hard para makuha yung gintong medalya.” Olsim adds that his experiences both in MMA and in Muay Thai helped a great deal in his gold medal conquest in the 2019 iteration of the SEA Games.  “Sobrang laki nung experiences na nakuha ko sa mga laban ko tulad dun sa ONE Warrior Series, pati na din sa Muay Thai dahil pinaka-importante po talaga yung experience tsake exposure sa laban, mas lalo na sa mga international fights.”  Now, Olsim hopes that the momentum of his gold medal win can translate into even bigger things, like say, a contract with ONE Championship.  Olsim has fought five times on ONE Championship’s developmental arm, Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, the same route that has produced the likes of two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex, as well as teammate and rising strawweight star Lito Adiwang, who won his contract earlier this year, and was able to make a successful main roster debut.  “The Bokodian Warrior” hopes to finally be able to join his fellow Team Lakay brothers and sister on the ONE main roster.  “Napaka-laking motivation nitong naging panalo ko sa SEA Games para makuha ko yung kontrata sa ONE Warrior Series papunta sa ONE Championship.” An impressive win in his next ONE Warrior Series outing could finally get him that coveted contract and spot on the main roster. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

SEA Games 2019 Opening Ceremonies: a collaboration of local and international talent

There is nothing like the 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games to help bring out the Pinoy spirit of bayanihan or community, as celebrated artists, production companies, youth groups, and many other organizations are uniting for the SEA Games 2019 Opening Ceremonies to be held on November 30, 2019, at the Philippine Arena. The grand event is set to be an exposition of Filipino culture, and contemporary music and dance, and a testament to the collaboration of great talents. Indeed, it embodies the games' credo of "We Win As One."  Among those who are joining hands to create this extravaganza include Palanca-award winning writer Floy Quintos, National Artist for Music and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, US-based, Emmy-award winning live content creator FiveCurrents, and Filipino companies Video Sonic and Stage Craft International Inc. Heading the all-Filipino lineup of performers are: acclaimed singers Lani Misalucha, Christian Bautista, Aicelle Santos, Jed Madela, Elmo Magalona, KZ Tandingan, Iñigo Pascual, The TNT Boys, Ana Fegi, and Robert Seña, and international rap artist Apl d Ap. “This year’s opening ceremonies are envisioned as a showcase of the enduring aspects of Philippine traditional and contemporary culture,” explains Floy Quintos who is creative director of the 30th SEA Games Opening Ceremonies. The country’s premiere folk dance company, the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, is also contributing their skills together with hundreds of students from at least 12 different schools and colleges in Metro Manila. They will be dancing in elaborately choreographed production numbers with sets and costumes made by topnotch Filipino visual artists and designers. Eleven local beauty titleholders headed by Ms. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach are also participating in the ceremonies. “The production’s aim is to show how aspects of culture reflect the energy, physical dexterity and competitive spirit of the Filipino,” Mr. Quintos elaborates.   The 30th SEA Games Opening Ceremonies is touted to be the biggest sports-related television special in Asia this year, as it will be broadcast live and nonstop in the Philippines and several countries in the region, including China and Japan. SEA Games 2019 organizers have found strong allies in Video Sonic and Stage Craft who are veterans in staging concerts and grand productions, and in FiveCurrents which has won 14 Emmy Awards and produced Olympic ceremonies such as the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and London 2012 Summer Olympics......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2019

MPBL: Sta. Lucia hoops tradition lives on in Pasig

"I am a true basketball man. We were 34 years in basketball. We will represent the city we all love." Those are the words of Salvador "Buddy" Encarnado, the boss of the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. For him, this team is more than just a job, it seems to be a calling. The old Sta. Lucia Realtors played for 17 years in the PBA, winning two titles with Encarnado a fixture in the team's leadership. Some of their players are etched into Pinoy hoops lore, like Marlou Aquino, Kelly Williams, Dennis Espino, and MPBL commish Kenneth Duremdes. When SLR departed from the league in 2010, the real estate conglomerate continued to dabble in hoops, fielding teams in amateur leagues. But their takeover of the Pasig franchise in the MPBL represents their biggest hoops project since fleeing the pro league. Sta. Lucia Basketball thus entered a new era. This team is also very close to Encarnado's heart. The GM grew up in Barangay Sumilang, a 13-minute walk away from the Realtors' home court, the Pasig Sports Center. Exequiel "Exy" Robles, the president of Sta. Lucia Realty, is also a native of Pasig. Both were dismayed when the Pasig Pirates finished the Datu Cup in dead last in the table, at 4-21. "As a Pasigueno I could not help but feel bad for the negative image of Pasig with a team that went 4 out of 21," said Encarnado, who has retired as a day-to-day executive of SLR but helps out in their sporting ventures. Sta. Lucia took the reins of the troubled club, rechristened them the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, and quickly moved to upgrade the roster. There wasn't a great deal of time, just two and-a-half weeks before the June start to the season. "We were pressured to make a fighting team in such a short window. It was like being the last in a buffet lunch. We had so few choices," laments Encarnado. Despite the slim pickings Pasig brought in a trio of studs in guard Robbie Manalang, swing man Jeric Teng, and former Mapua standout Josan Nimes. Manalang, a Filipino-American guard from Orange County in California, starred for Adamson but didn't sign with a team in the PBA after being drafted by Rain or Shine in the second round. The Realtors nabbed him on the last day of the preseason transfer period. "The management and team welcomed me with open arms since day one. Playing here has revived my career," says the guard. Manalang is norming just under 14 points per game and is a real weapon from beyond the arc. Encarnado locked down coach Bong De La Paz, who he had worked with in the past. "He knows my standard and my system," says the GM. Richard Velchez and Argel Mendoza were also roped in. In the recent midseason trading period the team strengthened their frontcourt with veteran Leo Najorda and 6'5" former NLEX Road Warrior Fonso Gotladera. "They bring experience and height," says the team chief. Pasig also has a powerful secret weapon: the rabid fans in the Pasig Sports Center. It's a cozy, intimate bandbox of an arena, and Realtors fans regularly fill it to the brim. "Hands down some the best fans in the league, if not the best," says Nimes. "The atmosphere is loud, crazy, and energetic. Almost all our games are jampacked and the fans are always engaged." "I have never seen a whole venue stand up and put three fingers in the air before I shoot a three like the Pasig fans do. I don't think I will ever forget that," says Manalang. "I'm usually the last to leave the dugout after games. And fans will still be there waiting for pictures. It's an amazing feeling," continues the former Soaring Falcon. "The fans relate to people who represent them," explains Encarnado. "Without the fans we are nothing. Basketball is not just basketball. They want to be entertained. The crowds are knowledgeable. They know what they are watching." Pasig is not invincible at home, having dropped games to Batangas and Bacoor. But both were close contests settled in the final seconds. Pasig's home is still one of the league's fortresses. Encarnado is cautiously optimistic about their chances this season. But for the next competition, the expectations will be high. "Next year some of my old players will be free and hopefully they will come back. I expect good things to happen." One thing that will never change is the Sta. Lucia culture, which Encarnado hopes will live on in this team's new iteration. "Ever since it has been about the work ethic of the group. We select people with good values who believe in hard work and have passion." The passion was in full view last Monday when the Realtors tangled with the Iloilo United Royals inn Makati. The Pasigueños battled hard, and Najorda had a superb day including a neat left-handed hook shot in the first quarter. But Pasig once again missed the services of the injured Jeric Teng, and could not neutralize Iloilo's white-hot Al Francis Tamsi, who scattered 26 points. Pasig shot just 34 percent from the field and lost 79-65. Encarnado sat at the end of Pasig bench, dressed in a team-supplied green-and white Sta. Lucia polo jack. He mostly observed the loss with little emotion. But near the end, during a dead ball situation, the boss strolled onto the court, and with glasses in hand, upbraided an official for not calling an elbow on one of his charges. His team falls short but they are still very much in the playoff race. The fire in Encarnado's belly still burns for the game. And it will not be extinguished anytime soon, if his words are to be believed. "I will never retire from basketball.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

Pinoy hitters score better result in second tune-up game

The Philippine national men’s volleyball team showed great stride overnight. Coming off a loss in their first tune-up game the night before, the Nationals put up a better performance Friday after drawing a 24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 17-25, result against Tsukuba United in Japan.     Head coach Dante Alinsunurin praised his wards for doing the necessary adjustments and addressing the problems they had in their straight sets loss to Saitama Azalea Thursday night. “’Yung sistema talaga kasi kanina bago kami maglaro nag-viewing kami, pinakita namin sa kanila kung ano yung ginalaw nila kahapon,” said Alinsunurin, whose squad is in Japan for a 16-day training camp for the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month made possible by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission.  “Pagdating ngayon na-address naman ‘yung gusto naming mangyari kasi kahit papaano naging maganda yung communication nila,” he added. The Filipinos were able regroup after yielding the extended first set with Marck Espejo, Ranran Abdilla, Francis Saura, Kim Malabunga and skipper John Vic De Guzman at the lead to take the next two frames. Alinsunurin fielded his second unit Joshua Umandal, Rex Intal, setter Joshua Retamar and Jack Kalingking in the fourth, which the Japanese Division 2 club took. “Sa fourth set kasi kailangan ko talaga makita yung players ko kung ano pa yung adjustment na pwede pa mangyari kasi kailangan ko rin itaya yung second six ko,” the mentor said. “Sana nag-fifth set para masubukan kaya lang nakataya na ko, nag-request sila na apat na set lang.” The Nationals are set to take on the Fujitsu Red Spirits on Saturday in the third of nine tune-up matches scheduled for the squad in its training camp.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2019

Pinoy sports personalities get creative for Halloween

Ahh, Halloween. The spookiest time of the year. The time of year wherein people get to be spooky, creepy, and creative when it comes to their costumes.  As always, our favorite Filipino athletes got in on the fun and showed off their own get-ups for the Halloween, and here are some of the best!    Jeron Teng and Jeanine Tsoi One of our favorite sports power couples, former King Green Archer and current Alaska Ace Jeron Teng and ABS-CBN Sports reporter Jeanine Tsoi dressed up as Men in Black.         View this post on Instagram                   Protecting the earth from the scum of the universe ???????????? #HappyHalloween #MenInBlack A post shared by Jeanine Beatrice (@jeaninebeatrice) on Oct 31, 2019 at 6:12am PDT   Michele Gumabao and Aldo Panlilio  How about this for some nostalgia? Creamline Cool Smasher Michele Gumabao, boyfriend fitness buff Aldo Panlilio and some friends decided to go as contestants of the classic Nickelodeon game show Legends of the Hidden Temple.         View this post on Instagram                   Legends of the Hidden Temple night at casa @laureen ♥? Purple Parrots represent!!! @aldopanlilio12 Another year to think about our next costume ???? A post shared by Michele Gumabao (@gumabaomichele) on Nov 1, 2019 at 4:27am PDT Michele and Aldo also dressed up as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!          View this post on Instagram                   What did the peanut butter say to the jelly???? @aldopanlilio12 Shot using my @fujifilmph 23mm #FujifilmXT100 #FUJIFILMPHXMICHELEGUMABAO#fujifilmphlifestyle A post shared by Michele Gumabao (@gumabaomichele) on Oct 30, 2019 at 10:35pm PDT   Junemar Fajardo  Multiple-time PBA MVP and San Miguel Beermen star Junemar Fajardo put on a happy face as he killed it as Joaquin Phoenix's Joker.         View this post on Instagram                   #JokerDance #WhysoSerious ???? A post shared by JMF (@saginghilaw15) on Oct 31, 2019 at 6:32am PDT           View this post on Instagram                   “Bisaya nga dako way paki y magbuot!”???? - @cookie.vibe #Joker A post shared by JMF (@saginghilaw15) on Oct 31, 2019 at 5:00am PDT   Rex Intal  We're not entirely sure what's going on here, but it looks like Rex Intal is dressed up as a member of the Money Heist crew being manhandled by an alien?         View this post on Instagram                   In-alien style sa banyo ng Island #GlobeHalloween A post shared by Rex Intal ???????? (@rexintal) on Oct 31, 2019 at 11:42pm PDT   CJ Perez Former NCAA MVP and current Columbian Dyip star CJ Perez and family went as members of the Darna universe. CJ as Ding tho.          View this post on Instagram                   Halloween 2019. Ding, Darna & Valentina A post shared by Cjay Perez (@cjayp7) on Oct 29, 2019 at 11:37pm PDT   Roxanne Montealegre Our very own ABS-CBN Sports reporter Roxanne Montealegre totally slayed as Wonder Woman.         View this post on Instagram                   No matter how high your standards are, the universe will meet you there ??????How’s your Halloween x Mercury Retrograde? ???? A post shared by Roxanne Montealegre (@roxannemontealegre) on Oct 31, 2019 at 7:46am PDT   Martin Javier ABS-CBN Sports commentator Martin Javier pulled off a great Captain America!            Thirdy Ravena Ateneo Blue Eagle Thirdy Ravena is up to some Stranger Things as he dressed up as Eleven for Halloween          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2019

Joshua Pacio hopes to be an inspiration for Team Lakay teammates

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will be defending his ONE Strawweight World Title against Rene “The Challenger” Catalan on 8 November at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in his second reign as the division’s king..   Ever since he reclaimed his title from Yosuke Saruta last April, Pacio has been on the grind back at the Team Lakay gym. After learning that he will get the opportunity to perform in front of his compatriots at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines, Pacio doubled his efforts in hopes of giving fans another excellent performance.   “My preparations for my next bout are great,” Pacio said.   “We’ve been working on some of my weaknesses and strengthening the weapons in my arsenal. As usual, we’ve been focusing on everything because this is mixed martial arts.”   “The Passion” knows better than to underestimate his opponent. Catalan is riding a six-bout winning streak, with exemplary performances that earned him a shot at the ONE Strawweight World Title -- a no doubt difficult feat to achieve in a stacked division.    However, the Baguio City native is confident in his preparations leading to the event.   “Anything can happen, especially that my opponent is a veteran in combat sports,” Pacio said.   “I have been preparing for this bout for a long time, and we have seen improvements. There are still a lot of things I need to learn and perfect, but I will make sure that I will be well-rounded in Manila.”     After a series of losses from Team Lakay this year, Pacio is highly-motivated to defend his title in the Philippines. He believes that keeping his world title would boost the morale of his brothers and help them reclaim their respective divisions once more.   “I could not put into words the feeling of being victorious on 8 November,” Pacio said.   “To successfully defend my title in front of my countrymen, in my hometown means a lot to the team and me. I know how hard my brothers worked for their previous bouts, so it’s heartbreaking to see them lose. I want to return the favor and win to motivate them more so we can go back to the top together.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2019

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio to defend title against Rene Catalan in Manila; Folayang, Eustaquio return to action

A Pinoy versus Pinoy world title affair is set to rock Manila this coming November, as ONE Championship returns to Philippine soil for the final time in 2019 with ONE: Masters of Fate, headlined by Team Lakay’s Joshua “The Passion” Pacio defending his ONE Strawweight World Championship againt compatriot Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan.  ONE: Masters of Fate is set to take place on Friday, November 8th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.  Team Lakay’s strawweight star Joshua Pacio is coming off a spectacular knockout win over Japan’s Yosuke Saruta in Manila back in April to reclaim the ONE Strawweight World Championship. The 23-year old Pacio is currently on his second run as the strawweight king and holds wins over the likes of former champions in Yoshitaka Naito and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke. He looks to successfully defend his title for the first time against the undeniable top contender in Catalan.  Catalan, on the other hand, is riding an impressive six-fight winning streak with wins over Adrian Matheis, Stefer Rahardian, and most recently, a first-round TKO win over Naito, making him the first man to stop the Japanese submission specialist. The 40-year old former Wushu medalist, who has not looked back since losing his first two professional MMA bouts, will now look to add ONE Championship gold to his already impressive combat sports resume   Pinoy Champions Return The card will also mark the return of former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang as he meets up-and-coming Mongolian prospect Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhuu in the co-main event.  Team Lakay’s Folayang, the biggest star in Philippine MMA today, is coming off a heartbreaking submission loss to Eddie Alvarez in the semifinals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix in Manila last August, and is looking to end the year on a high note.  Tsogookhuu made quite the impact in his ONE Championship debut, defeating Thai star Shannon Wiratchai via unanimous decision. He takes a massive step up in competition as he meets the Filipino hero.  Also making his return to action will be former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, as he faces a familiar opponent in Finland’s Toni “Dynamite” Tauru.  Eustaquio is also looking to bounce back from a tough loss after getting knocked out for the first time in his career by the heavy-handed Yuya Wakamatsu of Japan. The former flyweight king begins his road back to redemption by trying to avenge a 2016 loss to Tauru.  That win over Eustaquio, as it turns out, has been the only bright spot in the Finnish flyweight’s last seven outings. Following his win over Eustaquio, Tauru tried his luck at bantamweight only to be defeated by the likes of Kevin Belingon, Leandro Issa, and Gary Mangat. He returns to flyweight with the hopes of repeating history against the former champion.    Here’s how the ONE: Masters of Fate card looks so far:  Joshua Pacio vs. Rene Catalan (ONE Strawweight World Championship) Eduard Folayang vs. Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu (Lightweight MMA) Sangmanee Sathian MuayThai vs. Azize Hlali (Bantamweight Muay Thai) Geje Eustaquio vs. Toni Tauru (Flyweight MMA) Stamp Fairtex vs. Bi Nguyen (Women’s Atomweight MMA) Alma Juniku vs. Anne Line Hogstad (Atomweight Muay Thai) Yoshitaka Naito vs. Pongsiri Mitsatit (Strawweight MMA) Han Zi Hao vs. Kongsak PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym (Bantamweight Muay Thai) Jae Wong Kim vs. Emilio Urrutia (Featherweight MMA) Tukkatatong Petpayathai vs. Hiroaki Suzuki (Bantamweight Muay Thai) Kim Kyu Sung vs. Akihiro Fujisawa (Flyweight MMA) Roshan Mainam vs. Khon Sichan (Flyweight MMA)  .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2019

Baguio City retains Batang Pinoy crown

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — Baguio City defended its overall crown at the conclusion of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)-Batang Pinoy national finals yesterday here. The young athletes from the country’s Summer Capital banked on their strong showing in combat sports to become the most successful local government unit in this competition organized by the PSC […] The post Baguio City retains Batang Pinoy crown appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 31st, 2019

Eduard Folayang, Danny Kingad lead Filipino charge at ONE: Dawn of Heroes

The big stars are out to shine as ONE Championship heads to the Mall of Asia Arena for the third time this year with their biggest offering yet.  ONE: Dawn of Heroes, which takes place on Friday, August 2nd, will feature the biggest and most-stacked martial arts event to ever grace Philippine soil.  Of course, the Philippines will be well-represented on fight night, as five of the country's best mixed martial artists from the famed Team Lakay gym in La Trinidad, Benguet will take center-ring, led by none other than two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang.  The 35-year old Pinoy MMA hero will be stepping up to his biggest challenge yet, as he faces former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez in what is now a semi-final match in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.  The winner of the match will head into the finals to face Turkish knockout artist Saygid "Dagi" Guyseyn Arslanaliev at ONE: Century in Tokyo, Japan this October for the right to be crowned ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Champion and earn a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship.  The Folayang-Alvarez matchup is, by all accounts, a dream matchup pitting one of Asia's best against one of North America's best. Both men have a fan-friendly style that will surely result in fireworks inside the ring.  Also competing in an important matchup will be Team Lakay young star Danny "The King" Kingad, who takes on Australia's Reece "Lightning" McLaren in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.  Kingad is one of the Philippines' most promising young talents and is on track for what could be a second shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Standing in his way however, is a dangerous veteran in McLaren, who is also looking to return to the world title picture.  Rounding out the Filipino contingent on this massive ONE: Dawn of Heroes card is former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio who meets Japanese up-and-comer Yuya "The Little Piranha" Wakamatsu, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario who takes on South Korea's Dae Sung Park, and featherweight contender Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly who faces China's "The Stalker" Xie Bin.  Also on the card will be former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, who faces Japan's Tatsumitsu "The Sweeper" Wada in the other ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.  The winners of the Kingad-McLaren and Johnson-Wada bouts will meet in the flyweight tournament finale which is also set to take place at ONE: Century in Tokyo this October.  Headlining the stacked card will be reigning and defending ONE Featherweight World Champions and self-proclaimed 'adopted Filipino' Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen taking on Japanese challenger Koyomi "Moushigo" Matsushima in the main event, and English Muay Thai star Jonathan "The General" Haggerty putting his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship on the line against Thai icon Rodtang "The Ironman" Jitmuangnon.      Don't miss out on the exciting martial arts action! Catch ONE: Dawn of Heroes this Friday, August 2nd LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestreaming will also be available on the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page starting at 5:00 PM as well as on the iWant app! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

Alapag learning a lot with 'first class organization' Kings

Jimmy Alapag says he continues to learn a lot in his role as a coaching assistant on the Summer League team of the "first class organization" Sacramento Kings. In an interview with ABS-CBN North America bureau chief TJ Manotoc, the San Miguel Beermen assistant and Alab Pilipinas head coach said his first week with the NBA team has been "amazing," adding, "I've been amazed at how efficient everything is run, from the preparation, from practice, leading all the way up to the games. .@JAlapag3 is loving his stint as part of the @SacramentoKings coaching staff in #NBASummerLeague ???????? (????: @tjmanotoc) pic.twitter.com/TgF8Knc19p — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) July 4, 2019 "It's really a science in terms of the assistants and even us helping in our own way." Alapag got the opportunity from Kings president Vlade Divac, as the two are both members of the FIBA Players Commission. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! "Whether you're a player or a coach, you're always learning something," said Alapag. "I think this opportunity will let me continue to grow and stretch as a coach, now that I'm making this transition." Sacramento finished with a 1-2 record in the California Classic, which they hosted at the Golden One Center. Up next for the team is the Las Vegas Summer League, which will feature all 30 NBA teams, plus the national squads of China and Croatia. "Obviously it's a much bigger pool with all the NBA teams involved," Alapag acknowledged. "Again I'm just excited to see these people continue to grow...fighting for a spot in training camp, and ultimately, fighting for a spot on an NBA roster. So to be able to help in that capacity, it's a lot of fun." Luckily for Alapag, it turned out he's not the only Pinoy there, as one of the other invited coaches is Fil-Am Jessica Roque, an assistant for the Ryerson University women's basketball team. "I was shocked [to see here], but again, us Filipinos represent all over the world," exclaimed Alapag. "It's awesome to have Jessica here. She's a great young coach as well...so it's cool to have a fellow kababayan here in Sacramento to just go through this experience.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 4th, 2019