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Valientes MLV make Zamboangueños proud

The Valientes — the only homegrown team in the first ever 3x3 professional Chooks-to-Go league — are hoping to improve their semifinals finish in the second leg starting on Friday. But nonetheless, they made the entire Zamboanga basketball community so proud......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarOct 22nd, 2020

Valientes MLV make Zamboangueños proud

The Valientes — the only homegrown team in the first ever 3x3 professional Chooks-to-Go league — are hoping to improve their semifinals finish in the second leg starting on Friday. But nonetheless, they made the entire Zamboanga basketball community so proud......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Kai Sotto on NBA dream: Hopefully I ll make everybody proud

In a short documentary produced by the NBA G League, Sotto talked about the impact his journey would have on his fellow countrymen......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 25th, 2020

Valientes strike in Australia

The Zamboanga Valientes MLV got back at Black Buckets Australia, 14-7, in the final game on Saturday to snare the 3x3 Christmas Street Hustle crown and make history as the first Philippine team to win a basketball crown in Australia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 14th, 2020

Pia sa pagrampa ni Rabiya sa 2020 Miss U: May all the stars align for you…Bunso, make us all proud!

SURE na sure si Pia Wurtzbach na nasa tamang “tamang daan” si Rabiya Mateo habang naghahanda na sa pagsungkit sa ikalimang Miss Universe crown ng Pilipinas. Ayon sa ating 2015 Miss Universe, naniniwala siya na malaki ang laban ni Rabiya sa pagrampa nito sa Miss Universe 2020 pageant base na rin sa ipinakikita nitong dedikasyon […] The post Pia sa pagrampa ni Rabiya sa 2020 Miss U: May all the stars align for you…Bunso, make us all proud! appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 26th, 2020

Zamboanga Valientes continue legacy

For 20 years, the Zamboanga Valientes MLV, founded by late businessman Lando Navarro, have been supporting Zamboangueño athletes to reach their dreams in their respective sports like basketball, softball, boxing, weightlifting and just recently, 3x3 basketball......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

‘Barangay 143’ conquers Netflix, streams on PopTV this Nov. 18

First Filipino anime series “Barangay 143” continues to bring the country’s name to the global stage after it debuted on streaming giant Netflix last month and even landed among the top ten most watched titles in Netflix Asia. “We are very proud that again we have reached another first with ‘Barangay 143,’ and that is the first Filipino anime series to stream on Netflix. This has been enjoyed by millions of Filipinos nationwide during its free TV run and we believe other countries would enjoy it just as much as Filipinos did. We hope it continues to entertain young viewers and inspire young Filipino animators,” said August Media Holdings CEO Jyotirmoy Saha. “From the very start, we want to make Filipinos proud and to be able to share our story to the rest of the world so we are just overwhelmed with all the positive feedback we are getting. ‘Barangay 143’ represents all of us,” said Synergy88 Entertainment Media COO Jackeline Chua. Ever since it premiered on Netflix, the show has again received positive feedback from Filipinos who expressed how proud they of the Filipino anime. Some also shared how happy they are that they can finally stream it online. Aside from that, clamor for its second season grows even more as avid fans of the show demand producers to finally end its more than one year of hiatus off air. Prior to this, “Barangay 143” made the headlines as it emerged the best in Asia and won the Best 2D Animated Program and Best Theme Song (‘Alanganin’) categories at the recent Asian Television Awards. It was also proclaimed regional winner in the Best Animated Program, Best Drama Series, and Best Theme Song (‘Liga ng Buhay’) categories at the 2019 Asian Academy Creative Awards. Produced by Philippine-based Synergy88 Entertainment Media, Singapore’s August Media Holdings, Japan’s TV Asahi and ASI Animation, “Barangay 143” tells the story of Bren Park, a young and rising basketball superstar from Korea who in search of his biological father in Manila. Here, he finds a new family in a team of misfits and turns their basketball team from underdogs to being the team to beat in the tournament. Aside from its Filipino storyline, “Barangay 143” was dubbed by Filipino celebrities-turned-voice actors led by Migo Adecer, Julie Anne San Jose, Ruru Madrid, and Kelley Day and seasoned actors John Arcilla, Cherie Gil, Edu Manzano, and Lorna Tolentino among others. It’s original soundtrack also features top OPM artists that include Gloc 9, Nina, Top Suzara, Kris Lawrence, Harlem Ty, Kevin Yadao, Krizza Neri, and Willie Revillame. It premiered on free-to-air television via GMA 7 in October 2018 and consistently dominated its Sunday morning timeslot according to data from AGB Nielsen. “Barangay 143” is still available on Netflix and will be available on newest streaming platform POPTV this Nov 18. To download just search “POPTV Pinas” on Google Play or Apple AppStore. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/poptvph.....»»

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

What the President said at the General Assembly

Let me make one thing clear: President Duterte’s speech before the UN General Assembly should make all Filipinos proud. Whatever has been said about him, no matter what our politics may be we have to applaud him for putting the country’s best interest forward as he articulated our commitments not only to the UN as an institution for global peace and development and to its ideals of cooperation and multiculturalism in an increasingly complex and interdependent world......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 24th, 2020

WATCH: Ilocos Norte fresh grad’s amazing room renovation

Sonder Evennys Agustin talks about his room’s Japanese-inspired extreme makeover and the importance of bringing art into our lives Spending his days and nights indoors due to the health crisis is not the experience 22-year-old Sonder Evennys Agustin thought he was going to have after graduating from civil engineering. As the days went on and he tried to find things to fill up his days, he realized he had been staring at a blank canvas this whole time. Over a month, within the four walls that had become his world, Sonder transformed his room into a tranquil Japanese-inspired space. “The main reason [I transformed my room] is gusto kong maging productive ngayong lockdown (The main reason I transformed my room is that I wanted to be productive during the lockdown),” says the Ilocos Norte native in an interview with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “Kaya po naisipan ko pong gumawa nga mga furniture and then naisipan ko na din pong irenovate ang room ko (I thought of making furniture and renovating my room).” A WAVE OF INSPIRATION Sonder imitates The Great Wave off Kanagawa in the face of his walls Big in Japan On YouTube, Sonder shares the process in creating his Japanese style furniture, including a chic kohiteburu, or coffee table, as well as a floating table. The eye-catching masterpiece of the room, however, is his mural recreating The Great Wave off Kanagawa created by Katsushika Hokusai in the late Edo period of Japan. It truly ties the whole room together and elevates it to a whole other level. Hokusai’s woodblock print, created almost two centuries ago, is one of the most recognizable and influential art pieces in the world. Original prints are on display top museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the British Museum in London. Artist in residence Of course, any plans to travel to those museum-filled cities to see the original are grounded as of the moment. But Sonder’s beautiful recreation shows that we don’t need to travel to experience and appreciate art in our daily lives. “As a local artist, important po para sa aking na to bring art into a room,” Sonder adds. “Kasi, isa ito sa mga nagbibigay buhay sa isang lugar. Kumbaga po is sila nagbibigay lasa sa isang pagkain (Because it is a live-giving space. It is like giving flavor to food).” “And dahil love ko po ang art, dapat lang na ilagay ko po sa kwarto ko po para ipaalala sa akin na ang Diyos ay may binigay sa akin na talent na dapat ko lang pong ipagmalaki (And because I love art, I just have to put it in my room to remind me that God has given me a talent that I should be proud of).” THE GREAT ROOM Sonder’s renovated bedroom Sonder says that his artistic talents and sensibilities come from both sides of the family. As a child, he competed in various drawing and painting competitions. He even placed first in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) National Festival of Talents (NFOT) in 2014 when it was hosted in Olongapo City. While his extreme makeover room edition took 30 days to put together, Sonder wants to make it clear that it took a while to save up for the big renovation. Even while studying, he accepted commissions for paintings, drawings, and murals. But it was all worth it. “Kung gusto mo talagang maka-achieve ng kahit ano, huwag kang mawalan ng determinasyon na matapos ang goal mo (If there is something you want to achieve, do not lose your determination to finish your goals),” Sonder adds. “Wala pong mahirap sa taong may determinasyon sa buhay. Maging positibo lang sa buhay. Yung mga negatibo dapat naiwaksi (There is nothing difficult for a person with determination in their life. Just stay positive in life and disregard the negatives).” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2020

Built by Bo, bonded for Bo, believe in Bo

This is not the first time that Bo Perasol has had a recruiting haul this huge. Now heading into his fifth season in the University of the Philippines, he has brought in blue-chip recruits such as Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo and talented transferees like Joel Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Malick Diouf to a team that already has Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. And don't forget that Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan are only sitting out the next season - and what lies beyond for them is yet to be determined. This is not that different from his time in Ateneo de Manila University when he scored UAAP Jrs. Season MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP Hubert Cani, NCAA Mythical selection CJ Perez, and NCAA Jrs. standout Arvin Tolentino in his first few years. Those promising prospects then joined forces with Blue Eagle stalwarts Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal Unfortunately, all of Pingoy, Cani, Perez, and Tolentino - along with the rest of the so-called "Magnificent 7" - found themselves with academic deficiencies and, therefore, ineligible by the blue and white's standards. Not long after, they transferred to different schools and squads and then had varying degrees of success. Will Coach Bo's tale get a different ending this time with the Fighting Maroons? Perasol is making sure of that. "From my experience in Ateneo, natuto ako. Ngayon, meron kaming grupo sa programa na nagha-handle lang ng academics ng players," he shared. He then continued, "Sinasamahan sila sa mga klase, pinapakilala sa mga propesor, ine-explain na player natin yan, pag merong problema, coordinate lang po tayo." Apparently, this academic assistance team is made up of former student-managers who have graduated. Now, their first job is all about seeing to it that State U would not have to go through the same sort of headache Ateneo had with its "Magnificent 7." With that, you could be sure that UP's pillars of honor and excellence still stand strong even as all these new faces join Men's Basketball Team. "Walang special consideration. Pumapasok sila, bumabagsak sila. Binibigyan sila ng extra work, humihingi sila ng extra work," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Ang ine-explain ko lagi sa players at sa professors, ang mahalaga, basta masipag pumasok at nagpapakita ng intensyong matuto." STARRING AND STRIKING At present, just about everybody is still getting used to blue-chip recruits and talented transferees going for UP. That is why there are more questions than answers each and every time they announce a new player. And along with the question of whether or not all these new faces would be up to par in terms of the honor and excellence the Philippines' prime public university prides itself in, there is a question of just how the Fighting Maroons got here in the first place. How could State U, not that far removed from its self-proclaimed "dark days," get all of these players? And not just players, at that, but many big name players. The categorical answer? The program could now afford it. "Meron nang pondo salamat sa sponsors," head coach Bo Perasol explained. "For example, kung makikita mo lang yung patches sa harap ng jersey, malaking pera yun. Nag-aagawan ang marami para dun." At present, the shot-caller said that UP has eight corporate sponsors all getting together for the funds for the program. And unlike Ateneo which has Manny V. Pangilinan or National University which has Hans Sy as primary backers, the Fighting Maroons' system is quite different. "Ang source ng funds ng UP, halos lahat galing sa alumni. Tapos lahat yun, mina-manage ng nowheretogobutUP," coach Bo said. According to its website, nowheretogobutUP (NTGBUP) is "a volunteer group of UP alumni that aims to help, assist, and support the development, improvement, and advancement of the varsity program of UP." All of the finances it manages, however, are not necessarily donations. As Perasol put it, "Yung model ng UP is unique kasi yung support nila, kailangan may balik din from us." For example, the tactician said that many of their players have made appearances, online in this continuing COVID-19 crisis and in person prior to the pandemic, to cheer up employees of Palawan Pera Padala, one of the team's sponsors. More importantly, Coach Bo reminded yet again that the only reason they have all these new faces is because they have to. He pointed out how Abadiano and Filipino-American Sam Dowd would make up for the losses of Jun Manzo and Juan GDL as well as how Diouf and Cansino are already waiting in the wings once Bright Akhuetie and Ricci Rivero graduate. "We're also recruiting for the impending need," Perasol said. "Hindi naman ito biglaan. Since nagsimula kami rito, we all did this nang dahan-dahan lang. Kaya rin yung support from alumni for funding, hindi na rin naging mahirap." DREAMING Still, the mere fact that UP is now a big-time player on and off the court in collegiate basketball seemed so farfetched just five years ago. Before Bo Perasol, the Fighting Maroons were stuck in a vicious cycle. Now, though, they have back-to-back playoff appearances and have traded blows with traditional powerhouses for recruits and transferees. All of this made possible because the very moment he came in, Coach Bo already knew the secret to success. "You cannot build a program without funds," he said. Perasol furthered that his biggest takeaway from his time in Ateneo was that competing with the traditional powerhouses on the court entailed competing with them as well off of it. "Alam ko yung kakayanan ng Ateneo and siyempre, kakumpetensya ko rin nun yung La Salle so alam ko rin yung kanila. Ganun na rin ang kakayanan ng NU and yung iba pa, kakayanin din nila kung gustuhin nila," he said. He then continued, "Kaya kung ang objective ng programa is to be in the top four, your program should be levelled din sa capacity ng top four." The General Santos native then went on to point out how training in the country or abroad, recruitment local and overseas, housing, and food and nutrition all have costs. "To sum it up, everything you're going to do would entail financing. Hindi ito kakayanin ng UP as a public school dahil wala namang pondo ang gobyerno para dyan," he said. He then continued, "Ang pinakasagot nalang ng school is yung scholarship. And siyempre, yung nag-aaral ka sa UP." That doesn't mean, however, that their hands were tied. In fact, the answer to the questions had always been there. "The good thing about UP is there's millions of alumni all over the world and a lot are successful people and businessmen who are willing to help," Perasol said. BELIEVING Indeed, having educated Filipinos for over 112 years now, UP has, without a doubt, more than a few successful alumni. It was all a matter of uniting - and then unleashing - them. Even before Bo Perasol came home to Diliman, NTGBUP was already organized. They were not necessarily thrilled with the Fighting Maroons, though. "Nung una, dahan-dahan lang, ambag-ambag lang para merong kakainin, pambayad sa dorm. Merong nag-donate ng shoes," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Pero siyempre, they want first and foremost a program with improvements and direction." NTGBUP and the UP community got just that from Perasol as a 3-11, seventh-place finish in 2015 became a 5-9, sixth-place finish in 2016 in Coach Bo's first year. In his second year, the squad improved to a  6-8, fifth-place finish. From there, the Fighting Maroons have been in the Final Four for back-to-back years now - and even made the Finals in 2018. "Nagsimula maging excited ang alumni nung nagsimula ring manalo," he shared. "When we started winning, nagkaroon hindi lang ng physical support, but financial support as well. We were ascending eh." In his third year at the helm, State U, finally, officially had corporate sponsors. And you know how that year went? That was when they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then a 32-year Finals absence. Safe to say, the sleeping giant was awoken. "Yes, sleeping giant talaga tayo and when we say nagising, ang pinaka-catalyst was the winning," its fearless leader said. Now, UP MBT has a mean machine of financial support on its back, paving the path for its big-time recruiting haul in 2020. Even better, they now have a loud and proud fanbase that is making up for all the lost time they stayed away during the "dark days." "Actually, sa pitches ko sa recruitment, kasama sa presentation ko yung machi-cheer sila nang ganung klaseng crowd," Coach Bo said. SURVIVING At the same time, though, that loud and proud fanbase expects much, much more from this brand new power. For each and every one of them, Bo Perasol has but one reminder. "What we have done in the past years is to level up lang. We have a new gym, we have all these players, we can train abroad," he said. He then continued, "Pero yung mga Ateneo, La Salle, 20 to 30 years na nilang ginagawa yan. What we did was just to level up alongside them." Again and again, Coach Bo has said that what he has been doing is, put simply, putting UP in the best position to win. Still, with a roster as overflowing with talent as this, he could only acknowledge that just about everybody sees them as having gone championship or bust. Credit to him, however, Perasol was blunt with his assessment that he would also be disappointed if they would not be able to taste their first championship since 1986 sooner than later. "Yes, it will be a failed plan kung hindi tayo makakakuha ng championship in the next three to five years," he said. He then continued, "Yan naman talaga ang plano and ang ginagawa natin ngayon is all going towards that objective." And again and again, he is putting all those great expectations on his shoulders - and on his shoulders alone. "Ako naman, hindi ko rin pwedeng hindi gawin itong ganitong recruitment kasi hindi rin naman ako magkakaroon ng chance kung ganun. I have to be in the best position to succeed so that we are in the best position to succeed," he said. Only time would tell if all the seeds he has sown would bear fruit. But Coach Bo is already guaranteeing that whatever happens then, he would have no regrets. "In the end, alam ko namang babalik ang lahat sa akin. Alam na alam ko namang ako ang leader ng team," he said. He then continued, "Ang mahalaga is we gave ourselves a chance. Anuman ang outcome, basta nabigyan natin ang sarili natin ng pagkakataon." After years and years and years as the laughingstock of men's basketball, it looks like it's now UP's turn to smile and wave. Whether or not that ultimately turns into jumps for joy for their first title in three decades remains to be seen. But maybe, just maybe, Coach Bo is right - this is all worth it just to have a chance to compete. Just remember that in the "dark days," that chance to compete wasn't there at all. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Zamboangas make Philippines proud with resounding wins

The Zamboanga siblings vowed to fly the Philippine flag high in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, 28 August, and that’s exactly what they did. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Spurs keep playoff hopes alive with 123-105 win over Rockets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Spurs aren’t out of it yet. Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and San Antonio kept alive its chances of becoming the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances with a 123-105 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday (Wednesday in the Philippines). San Antonio has won three straight and five out of seven since arriving in the Florida bubble. DeMar DeRozan added 23 points. Jakob Poeltl finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. A total of seven Spurs reached double figures. Johnson said his mindset since the season restarted has been to fill in whatever role is asked of him. “Whether it's hustling, running the floor — just doing whatever I need to do to help us win,” he said. “Help from my teammates has definitely helped the game slow down for me." Popovich said Johnson is playing with the confidence they saw when they drafted him 29th overall last year. “That’s what he does," Popovich said. "He’s a high-energy guy. He's very physical. Very competitive. Very coachable. He’s just a winner.” The Western Conference is guaranteed to have a play-in for its final playoff spot, with Memphis beginning the day with just a half-game lead over Portland and one game ahead of Phoenix and San Antonio. The Spurs will need help to be one of the teams playing this weekend for the final spot in the West, but made sure they couldn't be eliminated Tuesday with their win. Russell Westbrook had 20 points and seven turnovers in his first game back in the lineup for Houston after missing two games with a bruised right quadriceps. Jeff Green had 17 points. Ben McLemore added 16. The Rockets played without guards James Harden (rest) and Eric Gordon (ankle). Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said the most important part of their final two games before the playoffs will be getting Westbrook some quality minutes so that he is fresh. “Get some of the rust off, build up his legs a little bit,” D'Antoni said. “We'll try to get through these two games and just try to get guys physically ready to go next week.” Westbrook said he isn't worried about finding his timing before the playoffs begin. “I'll get it back,” he said. The Spurs took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Rockets 35-24. San Antonio led by as many as 29 points. San Antonio built a 19-point lead in the first half. DeRozan set the tone with 15 points in the opening 24 minutes, with Lonnie Waker IV, Poeltl and Johnson each scoring 10. TIP-INS Rockets: Went 14 of 48 from the 3-point line. ... Danuel House Jr. sat out with a toe injury. Spurs: Patty Mills (rest) missed his third straight game. WIN-WIN Regardless of whether the Spurs make the playoffs, Popovich is proud of how his young players have stepped up in during their time in the bubble. “Part of it is you have to be realistic,” Popovich said. “I don’t think our chances of winning the championship were great at the beginning of this, nor are they now. If that’s a fact, then you need to do everything you can to develop and be prepared for next season. “The development has been off the charts. We’re thrilled with it. So it’s a win-win no matter what.” Popovich said it would be “thrilling” to get some help and have a chance to extend their season, but he’s not using it as a measuring stick for the season. “We’ve already accomplished what we thought we were capable of accomplishing, that’s what’s important. If we got in now it would be icing on the cake.” UP NEXT Rockets: Play Pacers on Wednesday (Thursday in the Philippines) Spurs: Conclude their seeding schedule Thursday (Friday in the Philippines) against Utah......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World

This story was originally published on Feb. 24, 2019 It’s Saturday night at Mall of Asia and the arena is absolutely rocking. Eternal basketball rivals in the Philippines and South Korea are delivering another classic. Gilas Pilipinas is down to the final minute of regulation against its longtime tormentor in the second of two semifinal games. The national team is up by two, 81-79. The Philippines is hosting the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships where three tickets to the 2014 World Cup are at stake and the winner of this particular game gets one of those tickets. Given the rich history of both teams and what it would mean to the winner, this pivotal game has gone down the wire as everyone pretty much expected. Also knowing the history of both teams in international play, Gilas’ precarious two-point lead was not safe at all. A ghost was lurking in the background and a dreaded curse felt almost inevitable. Down to the final minute of the crucial grudge match between the Philippines and South Korea, guard Jimmy Alapag has the ball and a two-point lead. What he will do will help define not only his career but the legacy of the Gilas name as a national team.   WAKE-UP CALL Even before the Philippines-Korea game, Gilas Pilipinas already had to go through one emotional game early in its homestand for the Asian Championships. In a preliminary round showdown against Chinese Taipei, the Filipinos collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Taiwanese to steal a morale-boosting 84-79 win. In 2013, the relationship between the two countries hit a rough patch over the death of one Taiwanese fisherman. In an updated May 17 report by CNN’s Jethro Mullen, “Taiwan has reacted angrily after one of its fishermen was killed by a Philippine coast guard vessel.” Taiwan had frozen applications from OFWs seeking jobs in its territory and the government of then President Ma Ying-jeou demanded an apology, among other things, from the Philippines. While the national basketball teams of both countries never really had any prior animosity with each other, tension was naturally present as both teams squared off in Group A action. Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese-Taipei both entered the showdown with identical 2-0 records and the winner would take control of solo Group A lead heading into round 2. Taking a good lead into the fourth quarter, the Philippines was outscored by 18 in the last 10 minutes and the national team took its worst home loss in quite some time. “At the time, it was a huge game for us. We understood what was happening in Taipei during that particular time. We really wanted to win for what our kababayans were going through at that time,” guard Jimmy Alapag said on that first home loss in the 2013 Asian Championships. “We didn’t get the job done, and it was tough especially to lose a game like that, it was a very emotional and it was a game that we knew we needed,” he added. The crushing loss meant that the Philippines had little room for error in round 2. While Gilas didn’t have any world beaters lined up in the second round, anything less than a perfect run would have meant an early clash with Asia’s established powerhouse teams in the knockout stages. On the other side of the bracket, defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea were battling for position and were expected to finish in the top-3. That means if Gilas Pilipinas failed to finish no. 1 in its group, the national team would have faced one of those teams in the quarterfinals. Gilas picked up a crucial win over Qatar in the 6th of August and the day after, the Philippines got some help from those same Qataris as they beat Taipei in a close decision. At the end of round 2, all teams finished with identical win-loss records but Gilas Pilipinas would take over first place after all tiebreaks were considered, barely edging out Taipei. The Philippines ended up avoiding defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea and instead got Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. No. 2 Taipei drew China and the third-running Qataris were matched up with the South Koreans. “I think that was the moment we grew up and grew closer. I think that was the lowest of the lows, just because of the atmosphere and what was going on between both countries. It kind of felt that we let our end of the bargain down, you know what I mean? We’re on our home soil and we didn’t take care of business. I think that was one of those moments where we had to really check ourselves and find a way to make it right,” forward Gabe Norwood said of the Taipei loss. “But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In tournaments like FIBA-Asia it’s important that you have short-term memory whether it was a win or a loss. We needed to let go of that game and continue to stay the course, keep our focus in the tournament,” Alapag added. On August 7, four days after Gilas lost to Taipei, the rift between the Philippines and Taiwan would reach a resolution and the latter country lifted its freeze hiring and other sanctions on the former. The Philippines also did issue on official apology over the death of the Taiwanese fisherman a couple of months prior and the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila recommended the pressing of homicide charges to erring members of the Philippine Coast Guard.   DARK HISTORY If the word “rival” is to be defined as a, “person or group that tries to defeat or be more successful than another person or group” then sure, the Philippines and South Korea are rivals. Both countries are rivals in the Asian basketball scene and they have been going at it for a very long time. But if the word rival can also mean “equal” or “peer,” is the Philippines really a worthy basketball rival to South Korea? The Philippines’ history with South Korea in terms of basketball is dark. Very dark. Consider the most high-profile matches between the two countries and you’ll see that the Philippine national team is just not at the level of South Korea. Or at the very least, Koreans always seem to reach 120 percent of their potential when they play Filipinos and we barely bring out 80 percent of our abilities when matched up against our East Asian neighbors. The 1998 PBA Centennial team, arguably the greatest Philippine team ever assembled, was demolished by South Korea in the Asian Games. A national team set up for gold only settled for bronze. Speaking of a bronze medal game, the original Gilas Pilipinas team lost a podium finish to South Korea in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships. That team squandered a double-digit lead and collapsed late. Of course, who can forget the semifinals of the 2002 Asian Games in Busan when Olsen Racela had the chance to put the Philippines up four but missed two free throws. South Korea would win with a booming triple at the buzzer off a broken play and would later take down China to capture the gold medal. South Korea is the Philippines’ basketball nemesis for all intents and purposes. A worthy adversary that always seem to emerge victorious at our expense. Still, all that previous disappointment didn’t seem to bother Gilas Pilipinas six years ago. The team was not scared and instead, they were excited even. One factor to greatly consider was that fact that the game was in Manila. It makes all the difference to play at home. “We understood the bad history that we had with Korea. We haven’t been very successful with them in quite some time but we knew from Day 1 that if ever we got an opportunity to play them at home, then we have a great chance,” Alapag said. “Man, pre-game, it was just the focus. Everybody was up for the challenge, I don’t think anybody was really nervous, I think it was just the anxiety... we wanted to get out there and do it already,” Norwood added. Playing at home had its perks for sure, but it also had its drawbacks. For all the painful losses the Philippines suffered at the hands of South Korea, it would have been devastating if Gilas actually took a beating in Manila. Stakes were extra high in this particular chapter of this long, ongoing saga. “There was always pressure, it was something that we acknowledged early. Playing at home, it’s great having that support but at the same time, there is some added pressure because you wanna make sure that you make our home crowd proud of the team that they watch and ultimately, win games,” Alapag said, making sure to note that the national team knew of the disadvantages of playing at home even before the Korea game. “It was there but it was something that we acknowledged and we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of the opportunity playing at home,” he added.   ALL FILIPINO, ALL HEART Once it was go time, the Philippines-South Korea game went about pretty normal, as you would expect any game from these two national teams. But even before halftime, an injury to Gilas center Marcus Douthit changed the complexion of the semifinals showdown. All of a sudden, the Philippines was without its anchor, without its best player. Sure, there were players on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace Douthit’s size but there was simply no one on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace his talent, production, and just overall presence. June Mar Fajardo was in that Gilas bench but it 2013, the would-be five-time PBA Most Valuable Player was just not at that level yet. It would have been easy for Gilas Pilipinas to fold like cheap furniture and succumb to the overwhelming pressure of trying to overcome South Korea to reach a stage very few Filipinos have reached before. Gilas didn’t fold and instead, the Douthit injury rallied the team even further. “Alam mo sa totoo lang, puso na lang yun eh. Nung nawala si Marcus talaga, sabi ni coach kailangan doble kayod tayo. Dahil sobrang dehado tayo kumbaga, wala na tayong import, wala tayong malaki,” forward Marc Pingris said. With Douthit gone, Ping ate up all of his minutes and worked by committee with guys like Ranidel De Ocampo and Japeth Aguilar to fill in the gaps. “As a player naman, kami nagusap-usap kami na kahit anong mangyari, lalaban kami. Yung time na yun, talagang patay kung patay,” Ping added. Despite losing its best player to an untimely injury, Gilas Pilipinas’ confidence in winning never wavered. With their collective backs against the wall, the Philippine national team played even better. Unlike the later iterations of Gilas Pilipinas, the 2013 team, aptly called Gilas 2.0, had the luxury of having actual preparation before the FIBA-Asia Championships. The amount of work that came before the tournament and the Korea game, the bond built over countless hours of training, all of that helped the national team avoid a monumental meltdown in front of a rabid Manila crowd. “We were such a close-knit team in terms of our chemistry, in terms of the talent that we had, so we felt confident even when Marcus went down early in the game. If you looked at our huddle, you had 11 more very confident guys, not just in themselves but more importantly, in each other,” Alapag said. “That just boiled down to the chemistry that we had. I don’t think any of us panicked, we were all confident in each other. We’ve all been into that situation with our PBA teams, having the ball in our hands and making a play. Knowing that we had five weapons on the floor that could make the winning play, I think it made us very confident and we were able to sustain our composure,” the former Gilas captain added.   THE GHOST AND ITS CURSE Shin Dong Pa, Hur Jae, Lee Sang-min, Oh Se-Keun, TJ Moon, and Cho Sung-min are just some players from the South Korean national team that inflicted incredible damage to the Philippines over the course of decades. The dreaded Ghost of South Korea takes form in these players and its curse is to give Filipinos the most heart-crushing loss possible. In 2013, the Ghost was Kim Min-goo and his curse was to beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Despite losing Marcus Douthit and trailing by three points at the break, the Philippines started to turn the tables in the second half. Gilas Pilipinas unleashed Jayson Castro and the Blur led a blazing offense in the third quarter, finding a way to take a 10-point lead over South Korea, the Philippines’ largest of the night. But as the dust settled and Gilas holding a 65-56 lead entering the final period, an ominous figure would make his presence felt. The Korean Ghost has arrived and his name was Kim Min-goo. His curse? Beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Kim was 22 and a senior in college when he made the South Korean national basketball team as a backup shooter in 2013. In nine games in Manila, Kim would play well enough to make the tournament’s All-Star team, averaging 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He led Asian Championships with 25 three-point field goals, 10 came in the last two games and five came against Gilas Pilipinas. Kim drilled back-to-back triples to open the fourth quarter against the Philippines. Later, his fifth triple — a four-point play at that — pushed the Koreans to within a point, 72-73. South Korea would take over soon after as Lee Seung-jun dunked the basketball on a fastbreak. The Ghost has arrived and his curse is in effect. “Ako pumasok sa isip ko yun nung lumamang Korea, na putek ito na naman,” Pingris said. “Pero ang sabi ko, sayang yung opportunity, kaya naman eh. So sabi ni Jimmy samin, no matter what happens wag kami gi-give up. Pinaghirapan natin to at may goal tayo, this year aalis tayo,” he added, noting the team’s goal to get into Spain and compete with the world’s best national teams. Faced with the possibility of dealing with a devastating defeat, Gilas had enough mental fortitude to keep things going. Trust your system, trust your preparation, trust your crowd, trust your teammates, and more importantly, trust yourselves. “You’re never out of the game if you’re playing at home,” Norwood said as they stared a deficit late against their destined rivals. “I think that was our mindset, keep it close and just find a way,” he added. Jimmy Alapag found a way.   BORN READY Down 73-75, Jimmy Alapag was under heavy duress when he let go of a three-pointer from the left wing just in front of his bench. It was good to go. The Philippines was back on top by one as Alapag somehow managed to get his team to snap out of an initial shock following Korea’s strong fourth-quarter rally. The stage is now set for a wild finish and Jimmy will star in the final act of what has been an incredible show by Gilas and South Korea. “In situations like that, as an athlete and as a pro, that’s the situations that you dream about,” Alapag said.  “Those are shots that you practice when you were a kid. When the shot clock is winding down, to have an opportunity to knock down a shot. It’s a shot that I practiced thousands of times,” he added. After the Philippines and South Korea traded baskets for the lead, Alapag made perhaps the most underrated play in this crazy and emotional encounter between two basketball rivals. Tasked with inbounding the ball just near underneath his own basket, Alapag found his Talk ‘N Text teammate Ranidel De Ocampo for an open look at three. Swish. Gilas leads, 81-77, with 91 seconds to go. “Ranidel was my favorite target for a very, very long time in my career,” Alapag said on the play that most people probably don’t even remember. “Once I saw that he got open, I wanted to make sure that I gave him as great a pass as possible and Ranidel has been known for a long time to take care of the rest,” he added.   THE EXORCIST “Yeah, I was right under the basket,” Gabe Norwood says with a laugh when asked if he remembers the shot that changed the course of Gilas Pilipinas as a national team. Late in the fourth quarter of what was essentially a heavyweight bout, the Philippines just landed two strong haymakers but South Korea would refuse to go down without a fight, beating the count of 10 each time. Down to the final minute of a crucial grudge match with a World Cup berth on the line, Jimmy Alapag had his hands on the basketball as Gilas would go to its halfcourt set. Jimmy will never let go of said basketball. Up two, Jimmy did what Olsen wished he could 11 years prior. Up two against South Korea in a pivotal semifinal game, Alapag received a screen from Marc Pingris, which was enough to momentarily shake off Kim Tae-sul. With some room, Alapag drifted to his left and let a three-point shot fly. Boom. Gilas leads, 84-79, with 54 seconds to go. The shot would later be remembered as the one that ended the Korean Curse, the one that finally exorcised the Ghost. “The first thought that came to my mind was don’t miss,” Jimmy said of the clutch jumper. “That last one, Ping sets a good screen and I got a clean look. It’s a shot that myself, and Jayson [Castro], and Larry [Fonacier], and Gary [David], and Jeff [Chan], all of us, we practice that shot time and time again after practice. So you know, it was a shot that I was confident in but in that moment, all you’re thinking about was don’t miss,” he added. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself and to be confidednt in your preparation. It’s a different thing to actually perform under such pressure. As soon as Alapag managed to shoot his shot, Gabe Norwood did what any other good teammate would do and got in position to get the offensive rebound. You know, just in case. Gabe got the ball alright, but he got it after it swished through the rim. “When he put the shot up, I tried to crash for the rebound but I basically knew that it was going in,” he said. “I had probably the best view, I was right under the basket. I think caught it after it went through too,” Norwood added. Alapag checked out moments later as the Philippines went to its defensive lineup in order to stop another Korean comeback. South Korea turned to its most effective shooter in Kim and as he rose up to try and answer Alapag’s triple, Norwood met him at the apex for the game’s most dramatic stop. Gabe blocked Kim and Gilas would finish things off with a final Marc Pingris basket on the other end. A historic 86-79 win was complete. “I still get chills thinking about it, to look up and see grown men just breaking down. My wife was trying to hold my kids and she was holding back tears. It was just an awesome moment, the bond that we had on that team, the stuff that we did to get prepare, I think we poured it all out in that game,” Norwood said on the monumental victory. “I think it probably didn’t hit me until the final buzzer sounded. Not just for me but for the entire team, when that final buzzer sounded, it was such a special group of guys and the fact that we could share that moment with not just with each other but the entire country, it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Alapag added, savoring the moment of a Philippine win over Korea 28 years in the making.   THE INTRODUCTION Gilas Pilipinas would lose to Iran the next day in the Finals of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships. The Philippines put up a fight but Hamed Haddadi would prove to be too powerful to stop. It would take another two years for Gilas to beat Iran but that didn’t really matter in the moment. The Philippines is headed to the World Championships for the first time in three decades. The Philippines has beaten South Korea and one singular shot has allowed the Gilas name to be known around the world. Jimmy wouldn’t say that though. At least not directly in that way. “For me, that shot was the biggest for my career. But really, it was our entire team. We’ve gone through so much and that was just one particular play that really culminated the entire game and all the contributions from other guys from Gabe’s defense, to Ping’s rebounding, to Japeth’s rim protecting, to Jayson and LA doing a lot of the legwork,” Alapag said. “Everybody had their part in contribution to the game. After the shot, after the buzzer sounded, it was just a very special moment for us as a team and for Philippine basketball to show that all of the sacrifices, all of the hard work, now it’s given an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to the world,” he added. Jimmy wouldn’t say it, but his teammates would. That shot of his that beat South Korea in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships introduced the Gilas name to the world. It announced that the Philippines has finally arrived. Gilas’ breakthrough overtime win a year later in Spain against Senegal — a game Jimmy pretty much decided late as well — made it known that Filipinos are here to stay on the World stage. “I would say so, it got us to where we wanted to be in the World Cup. I think we shocked some people there as well. But just the work that went in, I think it showed the country that we can get back to where we want to be as long as you work together,” Norwood said. “Yung puso ni Jimmy, grabe naman. Makikita mo maliit pero gusto lang niya talaga manalo. Ang liit pero parang lion pag nagalit eh, nandoon yung tiwala namin sa kanya. Ano pa ba masasabi mo, Jimmy is Jimmy Alapag,” Pingris would add.   [NOTES: At the time of original publishing, Gilas Pilipinas was fighting to make a return trip to the FIBA World Cup, this time in China in 2019. To secure its slot, the the Philippine national team needed to beat Kazakhstan in Astana plus a loss from Japan, Jordan, and/or Lebanon. One of the teams that can help Gilas is South Korea... ironically. Jimmy Alapag retired from national team play in 2014 and retired playing for good in 2016. He has since made himself a champion basketball coach in the ABL. Marc Pingris suffered an ACL injury in 2018 and is in the process of returning for his PBA team in the current 2019 season. Gabe Norwood is still in Gilas. He’s still an effective two-way weapon. He can still dunk and will stop your best player too.]   [Updated Notes: The Philippines beat Kazakhstan to make the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Gilas got help from... South Korea. The Koreans beat Lebanon on the road, allowing Gilas to advance to the World Championships outright with a victory over Kazakhstan.]   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Magpayo makes mama proud as first Asian head coach in NCAA Div. 1

Mike Magpayo is the first-ever head coach with Asian descent in the 114-year history of the US NCAA Division 1. That also means that the Filipino-American is the first-ever US NCAA Div. 1 mentor to hail from the Philippines. While Filipinos are, of course, nothing but proud of their kababayan, not one of them is prouder than Magpayo's parents. "This is like my first interview I've done with anybody in the Philippines so, obviously, it's exciting," he said with a smile in Coaches Unfiltered last Thursday - apparently, his first question-and-answer session with Philippine media after being installed as shot-caller of University of California-Riverside. He then continued, "Nobody's more proud than my mom and dad so first of all, it means a lot just to make my family proud." Before taking the top spot, Magpayo was the Highlanders' defensive coordinator last season and his scheme saw his squad wind up as a top 10 unit at the end of the tournament. That defense also proved to be key as UC Riverside registered a school-best 17 wins in 32 games in the US NCAA Div. 1. For sure, the founder and president of the Asian Coaches Association only hopes to lead them to continued contention. "We have a lot of size so we were very good defensively last year. The next step would be can we grow up fairly this year?" he shared. And that extends even off the court. As he put it, "In UC Riverside, we have great kids who are very good in class. It's really important for us to recruit guys with good attitude and good work ethic." With that, Magpayo is nothing but upbeat about the Highlanders' prospects of being even better. "We got some talent so we're in a good place. If we can finally go back on the court and play, I think we'll have a shot to compete in the Big West (Conference)," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2020

Desiderio, Uvero take partnership to next level with milktea business

Paul Desiderio has been taking care of business - literally - even before he stepped foot in the PBA. Awarded a Chooks-to-Go branch right after his collegiate career came to a close, Desiderio has long been making sure he has things in order off the court. While his stall in Fairview is continuing to do good business, he is far from satisfied. "Siyempre, nakapag-ipon na naman ako from my salary sa PBA at siyempre, nakatulong yung branch na galing kay boss Ronald [Mascarinas] kaya naghahanap na rin ako ng investment," he shared. He then continued, "Siyempre, 'di naman forever ang basketball so maganda talaga na mag-invest para sa future." Fortunately for the 23-year-old, he has significant others who know a thing or two about investments. "Binigyan ako ng advice ng mommy ni Agatha and from there, napag-isipan naming mag-open ng franchise ng Kurimi Milktea Bar," he said. Indeed, thanks to the helping hand of Carol Uvero, Desiderio and fiancee Agatha are now the proud owners of a milktea shop in Katipunan. At present, Kurimi only serves customers by takeout or delivery. Still, the lifetime legend in Diliman himself is, more often than not, at the shop, even trying his hand at mixing the drinks. "He's very personal and passionate and hands-on siya to the point na siya na mismo gumagawa ng deliveries namin minsan. Ako naman, I like looking at marketing and sales," Uvero shared. She then continued, "Ang galing lang din because we're sort of opposites and in the process, nakikita kong whatever my weaknesses are, yun yung strengths niya and yung weaknesses niya, strengths ko. I think we make a good team because of that." Yes, there are times that lucky customers from nearby areas could have Desiderio himself delivering the goods. And with that, the proud products of the University of the Philippines have taken their partnership to the next level. "This is special to us because we really get to push each other to be more responsible and more goal-oriented as a couple," Uvero said. The now-Blackwater guard was only of the same mind. "Happy ako na fiancee ko na, business partner ko pa siya. Nakikita ko talaga yung efforts niya and, at the same time, nate-test talaga kung gaano kami kalakas magkasama." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2020

Once upon a time, Big Ben Mbala wasn t that big

Ben Mbala's first choice was Ateneo de Manila University rather than De La Salle University. Long before the UAAP archrivals, however, San Beda University apparently had its sights set on the Cameroonian powerhouse. "The funny thing is, I also talked to San Beda," he said in the inaugural episode of The Prospects Pod. According to Mbala, aside from Southwestern University, where he eventually ended up, the Red Lions also showed interest in him. Back then, though, he felt that he was far from prepared for the big time. "I wasn't that tall yet. I wasn't that big yet. I was still growing from like 6-4 or 6-5. It didn't feel right," he recalled. And so, Mbala decided to first grow into his body and then toughen it up in CESAFI. "I was really skinny back in SWU and I'm not going to say it was easy in Cebu. People might think that I just went there and did my thing, but no," he shared. He then continued, "I was just the backup to Justin Aboude and he competed with [June Mar] Fajardo so I still had to prove myself." Not long after, Aboude, a 6-foot-6 Cameroonian, got sidelined - and the player to be known as "Big Ben" had to fill in his shoes. "That was the time I had to step up. I had more playing time and got to do more stuff. Just like that, things were able to happen for me," he said. Indeed, from that point, "Big Ben" became "Big Ben" and actually only became bigger and bigger. Through it all, he made sure that he was being as good a student as he was an athlete. "In the beginning of all this, of course, I didn't know about (the Philippines) and I didn't even know if my family will just let me fly out and be away from home. Finally, I convinced my mom when I told her I wasn't going to stop studying," he narrated. He then continued, "Her main concern was me focusing on my studies. She was like, 'You can go anywhere you want as long as you continue studying.'" Mbala did just that and did nothing but make his mama proud. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2020

Jovelyn Gonzaga: A soldier s heart

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2020

Fire and desire define Manileno ballers, says Angas ng Tondo

The love for the game is, of course, the common denominator among basketball players. Nobody does it better, however, than those born and bred in Manila - if Paul Lee is to be believed. "Grabe talaga yung passion tsaka yung competitiveness namin," he said in a surprise appearance in The Prospects Pod last Friday. "Kahit ice-tubig lang yung pustahan, talagang bugbugan na e. Kapag umasenso ka, Pop Cola o Coke para lang mas ganahan maglaro lahat." Lee, also known as the "Angas ng Tondo," balled out in the country's capital before showcasing his skills in San Sebastian College-Recoletos, University of the East, Rain or Shine, Magnolia, and Gilas Pilipinas. From then to now, he is nothing but proud of his roots. For "The Lethal Weapon," growing up in the challenging country's capital made him the man he is today. "Ang mga laro kasi sa amin, gagawan talaga ng paraan para makalamang ka, makapanalo ka. Kaya kapag nanalo ka, sobrang sarap sa feeling kasi lahat na ng pandaraya, ginawa ng kalaban, pero panalo pa rin," he said. He then continued, "Kaya ganun din siguro yung passion tsaka competitive sa lugar namin sa Tondo." Fellow Manilenos RK Ilagan of San Sebastian and Fran Yu of Colegio de San Juan de Letran could only agree. "Ganun nga po talaga rito," Ilagan said. "Mapapaaway ka po talaga paminsan." Yu shared the same sentiment. As he put it, "Sa amin, magbabarkada lang, kami-kami lang, naglalabasan pa ng itak." Indeed, all that just proves that fire and desire define Manileno ballers. And Lee himself is going out of his way to make sure that lives on. "Sobrang happy ako kapag merong katulad nila RK at Fran kasi taga-Manila ako, taga-Tondo ako, siyempre ayokong sa akin lang matatapos. Kumbaga, nandito ako at willing akong i-share yung mga pinagdaanan ko," he said. He then continued, "Dapat hindi maputol yung chain - sa akin tapos mapasa ko sa kanila then pag may dumating na iba pang player, sana mapasa rin nila. Continue lang." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2020

Ken Tuffin out to make mom proud by making it to the PBA

For the next two months, Ken Tuffin will be showcasing his skills in the New Zealand National Basketball League. The Far Eastern University captain was a starter in his very first game for the Taranaki Mountainairs and had a solid showing of 10 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Whether or not he's in the first five, though, Tuffin vowed to just keep doing what he has always done - go all-out. "Coach puts us in different groups depending on the personnel so I think I started last time for matchup purposes. Whatever it is, I'm really thankful for them," he said in last Friday's The Prospects Pod. He then continued, "Obviously, I'll just take all opportunities and do the best I can to help the team." In the end, the Filipino-Kiwi's stint in New Zealand will help out the Tamaraws - the Tamaraws who will, no doubt, welcome back with open arms their 6-foot-4 forward who had just gotten valuable international experience. And in the end, Tuffin's time in Taranaki will only be a big boost for his first and foremost dream - the PBA. "The end goal is always to play professionally. I would love to play in the PBA, of course, because it would mean a lot to me as well as my family," he said. The 23-year-old traces his roots to La Union where his mother was born and bred as well as Pangasinan and Pampanga where his relatives now reside. "It would mean a lot to have someone from my mom's side to make it (to the PBA)," he said. "It would really make them proud to (experience) something like that. Definitely, that's one of my goals." Of course, Tuffin is taking it one step a time and his full focus is on the Mountainais now - with FEU and then the PBA Draft not that far behind. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2020

Bong and Mozzy feeling bittersweet with Thirdy leaving Ravena nest

Without a doubt, Bong and Mozzy Ravena want the best for Thirdy. And right now, they are adamant that Japan's B.League is the best for their second son's young career. "Sobrang proud namin kay Thirdy," mama Mozzy said just hours after it became official that Thirdy will be suiting up for San-En NeoPhoenix. "Gustuhin man naming nandito siya sa atin, as parents, we want yung best sa kanya. Playing internationally is where he can reach his potential." The three-time Finals MVP with Ateneo de Manila University is the first player to be joining the Japanese league by way of the "Asian Player Quotas" instituted in November of last year. The rule aims to open doors for more and more non-Japanese Asian players to join the B.League to "enhance competition in daily games… and expand business in the Asian market." In essence, Ravena will play as an Asian import for San-En NeoPhoenix. That's exactly why Papa Bong's first and foremost advice is for Thirdy to play like an Asian import. "I just told him to focus, play hard, play smart, and play as an import," he said. For the proud parents, they have no doubt whatsoever that their child will only keep on making them proud. And so, the greater worry for them is the fact that their 23-year-old son will have to live independently for quite some time. Of course, Bong and Mozzy will make sure that they will still be taking care of Thirdy. As the former put it, "Mahirap para sa magulang na mangibang-bansa ang anak. We're already planning on taking turns going there para may kasama siya." He then continued, "Pero same lang din with Kief before, pupuntahan namin siya kung sino man sa amin ang pwedeng pumunta. Better lang for Thirdy because Japan is closer." The Ravena matriarch was of the same mind. "First time mawawala nang matagal sa amin si Thirdy kaya siyempre, may worry rin kami as parents, pero alam naman namin ni Bong na kakayanin niya mag-isa," she said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2020

Four champion martial artists who are also champion dads

Father’s Day comes but once a year, and is a time to celebrate the incredible patriarchs in our lives who have guided us through our toughest challenges. They are the foundation of every family, working tirelessly through day and night to make sure the people they love are happy and safe. This Father’s Day, let’s honor the men in our lives who embody strength, discipline, and loyalty. Great fathers provide their children with a feeling of security, both physically and emotionally, but aren’t afraid to let them stumble and fall in order for them to learn the lessons they need to make it through life.  These four men have given their children the gift of martial arts, but more importantly have also proven to be amazing dads. Ken Lee Brazilian jiu-jitsu and taekwondo black belt, Ken Lee, introduced martial arts to his children at a young age because he believes it can help develop them into great fighters, not just in competition, but also in life. Together with his wife Jewelz -- also a champion martial artist -- they’ve raised four incredible children, including reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee. Their two youngest children, Adrian and Victoria, are both on their way to following in their footsteps. Needless to say, martial arts is the family tradition. “Martial arts has always been a way of life for my family,” said Lee. But as much as he is the powerful voice in each of his children’s corners whenever they compete, Lee takes pride in being their father first and foremost. Guiding their careers, he says, is only his second priority. “I will always be their father first and coach second. As a father, the most important thing for me when it comes to my children is their safety and good health, that they are happy and able to live their dreams,” said Lee. Mark Sangiao Filipino martial arts icon Mark “The Machine” Sangiao is a well-known pioneer in the Philippines’ local martial arts community. He is a loving father to two boys, and a father-figure to his students in the famed Team Lakay. Many seek Sangiao out for his wisdom, not just in competing at the highest levels of martial arts, but also for his experience in traversing the hardships of life. The principles he imparts on his two sons, and many young Team Lakay athletes who could very well be considered his own children, have helped guide them down the right path. “As a father, what matters most for me when it comes to my children is providing them what they need,” said Sangiao.  “I’m not just referring to their material or financial needs, but most importantly giving enough attention to their emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It is essential that I can provide these to my children, because these are the very core of their development and formation as good and responsible people.” Sangiao has cultivated and developed many world champions, including former titleholders Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon, as well as ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio. While his eldest son Jhanlo has decided to take after his father in becoming a martial artist, Sangiao says he would support his children regardless of their chosen profession. “I may end up raising a martial artist, a gardener, a businessman, a lawyer -- it doesn’t matter. I will raise them the exact same way. I will support whatever they want to be in life, and what they want for their future. I just want to raise my children to be good, strong, and responsible people,” said Sangiao. Eduard Folayang For two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion and Team Lakay veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, being a father means imparting his wisdom to his children, and helping them become good members of society. Folayang is a proud father to two young girls, and hopes to instill in them the right values and principles. “I think we have to give our children the right principles to live by. They must be strong in both the body and the mind, but also kind and generous,” said Folayang. While he will support his children no matter what they decide to do when they get older, Folayang still plans on introducing them to martial arts, which is what helped turn his life around as a young man raised in hardship and poverty. “Being a father feels great. I do want my children to practice martial arts. It’s a great way of life and will teach them a lot of lessons. I just want them to find their own talents and help make the world a better place,” said Folayang. Danny Kingad Former ONE World Title challenger and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finalist Danny “The King” Kingad is relatively new to fatherhood, with his son Gleurdan Adrian becoming his pride and joy after being born just two years ago.  Being a father, Kingad says, is his single greatest purpose, and he vows to do everything in his power to give his son a good life. “I want to spend every day with my son. It’s important to me to be there for him. I want to help prepare him for the challenges life will bring,” said Kingad. Kingad grew up a troubled youth who fell into bad company and many vices. It wasn’t until he discovered martial arts that his life gained meaning and direction. He hopes to one day introduce martial arts to Gleurdan, when his son is ready. “Martial arts was a saving grace for me, and I learned a lot from training and competing. I would love for my son to learn the core values that martial arts instilled in me when I was younger. I think it will teach him a lot about respect and honor. But of course, I’m here to support my son in whatever he wants to be in life,” said Kingad. “What’s important to me is that he learns to be humble and respectful, and most especially strong, to be able to handle tough times. Having a strong mind is the best asset of a martial artist.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2020