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All 5 former winners in same half of Champions League draw

All 5 former winners in same half of Champions League draw.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 10th, 2020Related News

Filipino Ateneo student Jeff Dizon to face Team OG captain N0tail in 1v1 Dota 2 Competition

MANILA, Philippines – Following one month of intense competition, Zedrik “Jeff” Dizon was named this year’s Red Bull R1v1r Runes Champion! Regional qualifiers were held across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and gathered Dota 2 players around the country to compete in 1v1 matches. As the newly crowned Champion, Dizon is scheduled to face Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, team captain of 2-time The International 2019 Champions, Team OG, at Red Bull R1v1r Runes Civil War on Monday, July 20, 2020 on KuyaNic’s Facebook Page at 6:00 PM. Red Bull R1v1r Runes Philippines 2020 Red Bull R1v1r Runes takes places on a custom map built in the Dota 2 environment and pits players in a fast-paced 1-versus-1 mirror battle that rewards intuition and the ability to make quick decisions. The first player to achieve three kills or collects the first kill on an enemy T1 Tower wins the match. Ateneo De Manila University’s Zedrik “Jeff” Dizon made his tournament debut during the Luzon Qualifier. After finding little success early on with a battle-focused approach to gameplay, Dizon studied his opponents’ use of the push strategy. He devised alternatives using Meteor Hammer, an approach that led him to the National Finals against DSLU.Quanon. When everything was said and done, Dizon was crowned the 2020 R1v1r Runes Champion with a score of 4 – 0, and a set win of 100%. Ruler of the River As the 2020 Red Bull R1v1r Runes Champion, the young champion has the chance to establish himself as the rightful ruler of the river by facing Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, team captain of the 2-time The International 2019 Champions, OG, on a 1v1 mirror match. N0tail is one of the most recognizable figures in esports. After establishing himself in the international Dota 2 scene, Sundstein co-founded OG and would lead the team to 4 Major Dota Championships and back-to-back The International Championships. Now the question remains: Can Jeff score the ultimate upset and defeat OG Team Captain, N0tail, in a one-on-one competition? Find out at Red Bull R1v1r Runes Civil War on July 20th, 2020, at 6:00PM. Civil War features an under card with four matches consisting of local and international Dota 2 players. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 7th, 2020Related News

ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon open to facing Martin Nguyen in a rematch

So far, only three people have been able to defeat reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Ngyuen throughout his impressive career.  Two of those fighters - Marat Gafurov and Bibiano Fernandes - were reigning and defending champions when they beat Nguyen.  The other one beat Nguyen for the vacant interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship when Nguyen was arguably at the peak of his powers as the reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion back in 2018. That man is none other than Kevin Belingon, who went on to become the bantamweight division’s king later that year.  Belingon has since lost the championship and is coming off back-to-back defeats at the hands of bantamweight rival Fernandes.  Because of that, the Team Lakay star’s main focus now is to regain the bantamweight crown.  But if ONE Championship comes calling with an opportunity at Nguyen and the featherweight title however, Belingon says he isn’t one to turn down another chance at a world championship.  “For me, the priority is still getting the ONE Bantamweight World Title back, but of course I am willing to challenge Martin for the belt if given the opportunity by ONE,” Belingon told ONE Championship. “Still, regaining my belt remains my top priority.”  The Belingon-Nguyen matchup was undoubtedly one of 2018’s best matches, with the two stars going the full five rounds. Belingon cemented his status as the bantamweight division’s top contender with a unanimous decision win over Nguyen, who himself was hunting for an unprecedented third world championship in as many weight divisions.  Since then, Nguyen has been unstoppable at featherweight, taking out former titleholder Narantungalag Jadambaa and Koyomi Matsushima to retain the featherweight championship.  With Belingon already owning a victory over Nguyen, it wouldn’t be surprising for ONE to give him a shot at the featherweight throne.  Belingon believes however that the sequel just be as hard, if not harder than the first meeting.  “If we face each other again, I expect the same tough Martin Nguyen who I faced before, someone who hits very hard and has very good timing,” he said.  If Belingon were to choose however, he says he’d prefer to face Fernandes again.  “If it comes to that? I think I’d prefer facing Bibiano again," Belingon admitted. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 6th, 2020Related News

Phil and James Younghusband discuss their retirement and future with Philippine football

In a span of just months, Filipino-British football stars Phil and James Younghusband both announced their retirement from the sport, thus ending the Younghusband era in Philippine football.  Phil and James were crucial parts of the Philippine Azkals’ biggest moments, including the Miracle in Hanoi during the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, as well as their recent milestones with the AFC Asian Cup berth.  In November of 2019, Phil, the Philippine Azkals’ leading goalscorer announced that he was calling it a career, and in June of 2020, his older brother James followed suit. As it turns out, that wasn’t the original plan for James, who initially wanted hang his spikes up at the end of the year. Speaking to Cedelf Tupas on the Crossover Podcast, James shared that he actually wanted to play out the whole 2020 Philippines Football League season, but the COVID-19 pandemic axed those plans.  “Originally, my plan was to finish off the year with Ceres with the whole 2020 season but of course, with the pandemic and the situation and football put on hold especially now here with it still on break, I just felt it was time to announce, I’ve decided to end it a bit earlier,” James said.  Ceres-Negros was the final stop on James’ long and decorated professional Philippine club football career, which began in 2011.  While 2019 was indeed an eventful year for James on the pitch, he admits he would have wanted a proper end to his career.  “Winning the double last year, getting the chance to play in AFC in the Champions League and with AFC Cup, it was a nice way to end it, but of course, would have been nice to finish the year.” With the uncertainty of things given the COVID-19 pandemic however, James felt that the time was right to put a bow on what has been a great career.  “Just felt with the momentum of being on break, I had to announce it now, and seeing around, waiting around, wondering when the league would restart but I felt yeah, it was time to announce it and I’m just thankful to everyone for the great messages and the great articles…itreally feels great to see that appreciation.” James admitted that seeing his younger brother retire first did play a part in influencing his decision as well.  “Yeah, I think as well. During this time, you’re sitting at home, a lot of time to think and evaluate yourself and your life, and as well, my brother he’s starting a family, me as well I felt there’s other things in life I want to experience as well and a new chapter to begin.” “It played a part as well, we had a great run as well, great memories as well and I just felt the time was right during this pandemic to announce it,” James added.  As for Phil, he explained that his decision to retire last year came after a series of setbacks coupled with him getting ready to start a family.  “I mean there’s a lot of ups and downs and the downs can really bring you down and it came to a point that I had successive blows with the folding of Davao, with not being able to start in games in the Asian Cup, it was very disappointing and my morale was very low and I was getting married at the time, losing my job when I knew I had to fund a wedding,” Phil admitted.  “I just knew my priorities when my wife, we were starting a family and I just felt very unmotivated with football so those successive blows really took its toll on me and I knew I didn’t wanna feel that again and I want security and start a family, your priority is family you gonna want to support them and make sure they never in a vulnerable position so I decided I want to be in a position where I can support them and give them security,” Phil continued.  Unfortunately, unlike in most other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is still struggling to keep a local club football league afloat, which can largely be attributed to the clubs themselves struggling to get financial support.  “Playing in Philippine football is not gonna give me that because there’s been numerous times clubs folded and look what’s going on now, it’s really tough,” Phil said. “I was in the same position of a lot of players are going through now in Philippine football where clubs are going to find financial support and it’s very difficult. I empathize with anyone in that position.”  While the Younghusband era in Philippine football may be over in terms of them being players, there remains a large possibility that the two remain involved in a different capacity, whether it be coaching or otherwise. “I think it’s now time where I wanna start pursuing a possibility in coaching and learning more about coaching,” he shared. “I would actually like to travel as well to different countries and learn about different cultures about football also, and different philosophies,” said James.  “I wanna travel to different countries and learn different ways of styles of football, coaching football. My goal was always to help develop Philippine football and to go abroad, learn, and come and share that to the Philippines,” he continued.  “James and I have always said a lot of our knowledge and experience were gained at Chelsea Football Club. We were able to watch the best players in the world every day, the best facilities, being under the best coaches in the world and most of our knowledge and experience has come from that but we feel if we want to grow in the sport and we want to help develop football even more in the Philippines, we need to go abroad and gain more knowledge, more experience and be able to bring it back again to the Philippines,” Phil added.  “I think we still have a lot to offer Philippine football, whether that’s next year or the year after. We don’t know but we still have something to offer,” he continued......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 3rd, 2020Related News

Road to Olympics now clear for PH karate bets

The path to the Olympics is now clear for Southeast Asian Games karate champions Jamie Christine Lim and Junna Tsukii, who could book a flight to Tokyo with a podium finish in next year’s qualifying tournament. “They have to medal in [the Karate Olympic Qualifying Tournament] to gain entry to the Olympics,’’ said Karate Pilipinas […] The post Road to Olympics now clear for PH karate bets appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsJul 3rd, 2020Related News

41-year old Manny Pacquiao shows off uncanny hand speed

In his prime, eight-division boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao was known for his speed.  Now, at 41 years old, the "Pacman" may no longer be at the peak of his powers, but it's evident that he's still one of the best in the world, especially after wins over the likes of Adrien Broner and the previously undefeated Keith Thurman.  Currently the reigning WBA (Super) Welterweight World Champion, Pacquiao remains one of the most sought-after opponents by today's top champions and contenders, all of them significantly younger than the Pinoy boxing legend.  It's not because Pacquiao is in the tail end of his career, but it's because even at this age, Pacquiao is still one of the world's greatest, and clips like these show why:          View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:10am PDT Pacquiao shared a post of himself hitting the punching bag with uncanny hand speed, something that most 40-year olds could only dream of having.  This is why, even at this stage of his career, Pacquiao is being discussed as a possible opponent for the some of today's pound-for-pound best like Terence Crawford and Gennady Golovkin.  Could Pacquiao be back in the gym training for an upcoming fight? .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 28th, 2020Related News

Liverpool ends 30-year drought

Liverpool—Liverpool ended a 30-year wait for the English title as they were crowned Premier League champions on Thursday, triggering jubilant scenes as fans ignored social-distancing to celebrate uproariously......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsJun 28th, 2020Related News

ONE champ Joshua Pacio making sound investments during pandemic

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is making good use of his time while he awaits his next defense of his ONE Strawweight World Title. The 24-year-old from Baguio City has partnered up with FlexBox, an on-demand personal training service that provides custom workouts accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The reigning World Champion from Team Lakay will function as a “Celebrity Trainer” and is slated to provide virtual training for fans and fitness enthusiasts alike. “This is good, it’s added income for us while we’re waiting for our next fight,” Pacio said.  “It’s also a good opportunity to interact with fans, help them stay fit and healthy to boost their immune system during the pandemic.” The young phenom from Team Lakay is set to do his online one-on-one and group classes during his rest days. Even at his age, “The Passion” knows the value of good financing. But make no mistake about it, he is not letting up on his training while waiting for a call from ONE Championship.  “I promise I’ll be ready to defend my belt anytime,” Pacio said.  “Even though I am already at the top, I know that there are many quality opponents out there waiting for me. I always have to find ways to improve.” In his most recent outing, Pacio defeated former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva by split decision in the main event of ONE: FIRE & FURY last January at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. He is the first mixed martial artist in the talented weight class to defeat all previous World Champions, gaining a reputation as one of the greatest athletes in ONE’s history. But Pacio is not letting up, nor is he allowing the praises to go to his head, as he works to improve all the weapons in his arsenal before his next trip inside the Circle. “If they give me a date, I know I can quickly catch up,” he said. “I am ready to return any time this year.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 26th, 2020Related News

MLS teams arriving in Florida, tournament schedule set

By ANNE M. PETERSON AP Sports Writer Major League Soccer will open its World Cup-style return tournament in Florida on July 8 with a double header. Orlando City will play expansion Inter Miami in the first match, followed by a game between the Chicago Fire and Nashville SC. The games will be the first time the league has been in action since play was shut down on March 12 because of the coronavirus. The all-Florida opener is a nod to the tournament’s host state. All games will be played without fans in attendance at the sports complex at Walt Disney World. The league released the schedule Wednesday, the first day teams could arrive at the complex near Orlando for the tournament. The San Jose Earthquakes, who were limited in practice by local restrictions, were the first team to travel to Florida. Earthquakes players will be tested upon arrival and then quarantined for 24 hours while awaiting the results. MLS will be the second pro team league in the United States to return to the field. The National Women’s Soccer League will play a tournament in Utah starting Saturday. The 26 MLS teams will be divided into six groups for the opening round of the tournament, which will be played over 16 consecutive days. Group matches will count toward the regular-season standings. Among the highlights of the group stage is a match between the LA Galaxy and LAFC on July 18, and a Canadian rivalry match between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC on July 15. The defending champion Seattle Sounders open play against the Earthquakes on July 10. Sixteen teams will advance to the knockout round, with the winner of the title game on Aug. 11 earning a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. The teams and select staff members will be sequestered during the tournament at two Disney resorts for the duration of the tournament......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 25th, 2020Related News

Volleyball players think staredowns sure to stay in the new normal

Staredowns are sure to stay in volleyball. Actually, it might be the norm in the new normal when the time comes that volleyball leagues are allowed to resume their respective tournaments. In the pilot episode of TBH, collegiate stars Ponggay Gaston of Ateneo de Manila University, Michelle Cobb of De La Salle University, University of Sto. Tomas’ Eya Laure and Rosie Rosier of University of the Philippines talked about different topics including the return of volleyball. Gaston felt that volleyball should be one of the sports that the government should allow to resume once the health crisis gets better. “Kasi it's less contact di ba? It’s a non-contact sport and dream ko sana makalaro na tayo,” said the team captain of the reigning UAAP champions Lady Eagles.   “Wala na lang manonood, maybe televised. Pero iniisip ko kasi there’s so many technical things that are needed to be than for this to happen,” Gaston added. “Pero sana volleyball ang mauna kasi anim na lang kayo sa court hindi naman magkadikit ang posisyon di ba?” However, the Ateneo star also wondered how they would react on court if they have to follow physical distancing. “Pero ang iniisip ko sanay tayong makipagyakapan sa teammates, mag-apir-apir lalo na ‘pag in the moment lalo na kapag nagka-point. I guess ngayon kailangan staredown, staredown muna,” said Gaston, drawing laughter from the crew especially Laure and Cobb. The Lady Spikers setter and Tigresses’ top hitter are notorious with their staredowns and gestures to express their emotions during games. “Forte ko na ‘yan no! Di na ‘yan new normal,” Cobb quipped. Laure chimed in. “Normal pa din sa amin 'yung ganoon,” said the UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year. “It’s gonna be a part of the new normal,” Gaston said. “Kasi di ka naman lumalapit sa tao, titingnan mo lang eh di ba?” Shifting to serious talk, the group also discussed the possibility of holding games behind closed doors. “Imagine playing sa big game tapos ang tahimik,” said Cobb. Laure mentioned how her brother Echo celebrated the back-to-back boys’ basketball championships of Nazareth School of National University in an empty arena.    “Iba pa rin feeling kapag may nanonood,” said Laure. For Rosier, it will definitely be different but sports in general must adapt to the current health situation.  “It’s gonna be super different without allowing people watching. It’s gonna be hard but I think it’s this thing about sports it’s adaptable, its flexible,” she said. “For a new normal there must be a way to advertise sports and at the same time enjoy it.” Catch ‘TBH’ every Tuesday with replays at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on LIGA Channel 86, and LIGA HD on Channel 183 on SKY Cable and Destiny......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 24th, 2020Related News

Aside from shooting, all of SJ s skills came from papa Sammy

SJ Belangel has got next in Ateneo de Manila University's long line of great guards. Heading into his third year, the 5-foot-11 playmaker is ready and raring to take on a bigger burden as the Blue Eagles lead guard. Thus far, Belangel has proven to have both the confidence and capability to be at the wheel of the blue and white's well-oiled machine. Putting up per game counts of 6.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 12.2 minutes last year, the faithful in Katipunan have full faith their three-time defending champions remain in good hands even after the graduation of Matt Nieto. However, Belangel wouldn't even be in this position if he were not prepped and primed by his papa. "Lahat ng nagagawa ko, dahil din sa turo ni papa. 'DI ko talaga kinalumutan so nadala ko lang dito," he said. Sammy Belangel once starred for University of St. La Salle in Bacolod. And son SJ is nothing but grateful to have gotten the best from his papa. "Yung skills ko, nakuha ko sa kanya. 'Di siya nagsawa sa pagturo sa akin," he said. He then continued, through chuckles, "Kahit yung mga gulang-gulang, naturo rin niya. Siyempre, kailangan din yun e." At the same time, though, the 20-year-old also became better thanks to his, in essence, second father. "Yung shooting, siguro kay coach Tab galing," he shared. He then continued, with a laugh, "Si papa kasi, walang shooting e." If so, the rest of the league better beware for what Belangel has in store for the coming season, already having made good 42 percent of his three-point tries a year ago. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 21st, 2020Related News

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.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 21st, 2020Related News

Fil-Am UFC veteran Mark Muñoz shares his thoughts on the state of Filipino MMA

Apart from basketball and, as of recent years, volleyball, combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts have been quite popular among Filipino sports fans.  A lot of credit for that goes to the likes of eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, four-division boxing champion Nonito Donaire Jr., Donnie Nietes, and those who came before them like Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Pancho Villa, and Gerry Peñalosa, all of whom made it big on the world stage.  In recent years, a number of Filipinos are have also made a name for themselves in the global mixed martial arts arena, and one of the early big stars was none other than former UFC veteran Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz.  From 2009 to 2015, Muñoz was one of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders and proudly carried the Filipino flag with him each time he stepped inside the Octagon.  In May of 2015, on the UFC’s inaugural fight card in Manila, Muñoz retired in front of his kababayans after a unanimous decision win over Luke Barnatt.  (READ ALSO: Filipino-American MMA star Mark Muñoz recalls retirement bout in Manila) Muñoz’s run in the UFC came at a time when the North American promotion was easily accessible to fans in the Philippines, and he became a household name in terms of Filipino MMA.  Now, five years after Muñoz’s retirement, MMA in the Philippines has never been more popular, thanks in large part to promotions like the Asia-based ONE Championship, which holds around four events in Manila every year, and of course, the URCC, the Philippines’ first-ever MMA promotion.  Today, homegrown Filipino talents like Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, Denice Zamboanga, Chris Hoffman, an many others have also gotten their time to shine on the world stage, and Muñoz believes that it’s because Filipinos are natural fighters.  “I just feel Filipinos in general have that combat mentality. That’s already inside of them,” Muñoz said on The Hitlist vodcast. “I feel that Filipinos, from the days that we have to get our independence from the Spanish, Jose Rizal, he’s a hero in the nation, it’s just embedded in our culture, in our blood, so I just feel like Filipinos in general would be amazing fighters.” Munoz made special mention of guys like former ONE world champions Folayang and Belingon, as well as URCC champions Hoffman, and Ernesto Montilla Jr.  “I mean you just look at the…Filipinos now, it’s growing and getting better. I’ve been following Eduard Folayang. He’s an amazing representative of the Philippines, Kevin Belingon, he’s the man. I think there’s another one that was on the card when I fought, Mark Eddiva is good. I know I’m leaving out a lot of fighters, there’s Ernesto Montilla Jr., when I was there in training, a guy caught my eyes, Chris Hoffman trained with me and helped me out. I know he’s doing big things in the Philippines. I think he’s URCC champion.”  “There’s a lot of good fighters in the Philippines. I know I’m leaving out a lot and I don’t want to do that but there’s a lot of good talents in the Philippines and I wanna come, I wanna be there and help them in wrestling, in MMA wresting, in ground and pound, in everything that was my specialty in MMA,” he added.  While Filipinos have indeed excelled in mixed martial arts, one aspect continues to be perceived as the Filipino fighter’s weakness is the ground game, whether it be wrestling or grappling.  (READ ALSO: Mark Muñoz not ruling out MMA return) Today’s young stars, guys like Team Lakay’s Pacio and Danny Kingad have displayed some exceptional grappling in their past performances, but Muñoz, a former collegiate wrestler and current wrestling coach, made a living off taking guys down and keeping them grounded.  “I think the common thing that everyone says with MMA is wrestling. Wrestling is the ultimate neutralizer. If you don’t have a good understanding of wrestling, you’re gonna have a really hard time becoming one of the, being ranked in the world or even be a champion,” Muñoz explained. “If you look at all the champions now, or the ones that are ranked in the world. A lot of them have background in wrestling. I feel that that’s something that the Philippines needs.” Muñoz has always said that one of the things he would most like to do is to help develop wrestling in the Philippines and hopes to one day be able to finally fulfill that mission.  “I’m the guy to do that for them. I need to make sure I spend time in the Philippines to be able to help that,” he continued......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 19th, 2020Related News

BATCH CLASH: Do you agree? Season 76 Lady Eagles will beat Season 81 Lady Eagles?

Remember when we did a Batch Clash piece pitting the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles champion team of Season 76 against the title squad of Season 81? ABS-CBN Sports laid down the statistics, team composition, strengths and the competition faced by the two Ateneo teams and let the readers decide who would fare better if they were to square off in a match.    [Related story: BATCH CLASH: Season 76 Lady Eagles vs. Season 81 Lady Eagles] It would really be interesting to see these Lady Eagles go at it, right? But again, who will emerge victorious between the two batches of UAAP champions? Without batting an eyelash, Ricky Palou, former Ateneo athletic director and one of the brilliant minds behind turning the struggling Lady Eagles into one the best women’s volleyball programs in the UAAP, gave it to the breakthrough Ateneo squad.     “I’d go for Batch 76,” Palou said during his interview on the Crossover podcast. The chief of Sports Vision, which is the organizer of the Premier Volleyball League, backed up his claim by pointing out that Batch 76 went through a tougher journey to the throne. Batch 76 was in a rebuilding stage that year after the departure of the Fab Five and under a new system with the arrival of Thai coach Tai Bundit. For him, the Lady Eagles of Season 76 are tougher. The heartstrong Batch 76 will definitely win.         “I saw how they, Coach Tai that was his first year here. He worked them really very, very hard. I was looking at some of these players and some of them were thinking of quitting because training was tough. Most of them held on,” recalled Palou, who together with the amiable and media savvy former team manager Tony Boy Liao, is the architect of the successful Ateneo volleyball program. “I figured the training that they went through and the games that they went through, even competition that they went through. So, I’d go for Batch 76,” he added.   HEIGHT vs. MAGIC Man-to-man both Alyssa Valdez and libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla agreed that Batch 76 is at a disadvantage in terms of height.         “Advantage ng Season 81 is really height,” said the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player. “We don’t have that nu’ng Season 76.” “Talo kami sa height,” Lazaro-Revilla echoed. Batch 81 boasts of a pair of 5-foot-10 and very skilled middles in Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag and a 6-foot-2 wing spiker in Kat Tolentino.   “Our middles are Amy (Ahomiro) and Aeriel (Patnongon) and Marge (Tejada) and Ana (Gopico). But Marge and Ana got injured. So we have like two lang so parang hindi namin alam. Libero kami lamang,” said Valdez. “Lamang sa height. Sa setter Jia (Morado) and Deanna (Wong)? Deanna’s taller I think,” Lazaro-Revilla said. But what they lack in ceiling, Batch 76 compensates with its superb and versatile wing spikers and solid floor defense. “I think (for Batch 81) it’s Jules (Samonte) and Ponggay (Gaston). So our open hitters would be me and Ella (de Jesus). Kay Ella pa lang, alam mo na,” Valdez said with confidence. “Tiwala kami kay Ella. Utility namin would be Mich (Morente) or Kim (Gequillana). And they have Kat.” “It’s really height vs. magic?” added Valdez. Anchored behind the consistency of the Iron Eagle Denden Lazaro and with the support of Morente and De Jesus, Batch 76 will give Batch 81 a hard time scoring. “I think lamang namin is floor defense. May tiwala ako sa teammates ko,” said Lazaro-Revilla, a two-time Best Receiver winner and Season 76 Best Digger. In which Valdez chimed in: “Si Den, si Ella and Michifu (Morente) kasi ako wala talaga kong ginagawa na floor defense.” “Hindi ka lang rume-receive pero dumedepensa ka naman,” quipped Lazaro-Revilla. “Binabawi mo naman sa mga palo mo and serves.” Looking back, Palou stressed that Batch 76’s Cinderella run is a feat that is tough to beat. Besides, that Lady Eagles team made a miracle when they survived a string of do-or-die games before toppling the four-peat-seeking and thrice-to-beat powerhouse De La Salle University in the Finals.   “But you know, you look at the competition then, look at the team of La Salle, it was a powerhouse, Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo, you look at NU they have the Santiago sisters (Dindin and Jaja), they have Myla Pablo. You look at FEU they have (Bernadeth) Pons, (Toni) Basas, all those good players,” Palou said. “So even competition-wise, the competition they fought then was better and stronger than what they had in the other group.” “I agree,” said Lazaro-Revilla. “I mean the competition that we went through nu’ng time na yun. It was tough for us because given na we were a rebuilding team. So for us it was really tough.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 18th, 2020Related News

Champions League to be played at mini-tournament in Lisbon

Champions League to be played at mini-tournament in Lisbon.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 17th, 2020Related News

UST still sits on the general championship throne in UAAP 82

University of Sto. Tomas still stands strong as the general champion in both Seniors and Juniors as it topped the other seven member-schools in the shortened Season 82. "I think, in their last count, sila ang made-declare na general champions," outgoing league president Em Fernandez of Ateneo de Manila University said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum on Tuesday. "I do believe they were leading." Fernandez then went on to say that 21 of 31 championships were already awarded in the Seniors while all but two were won in the Juniors. That means that the leader in the medal tally would be named general champion in virtual closing ceremonies a month from now - and the leader in both Seniors and Juniors is UST. Meanwhile, there would not be an Athlete of the Year in the shortened Season 83. "There won't be any Athlete of the Year. That has been recommended by the BMD (Board of Managing Directors) and approved by the BOT (Board of Trustees)," Fernandez said. The most recent Athletes of the Year were UST's Sisi Rondina and Ateneo's Jessie King Lacuna for the Seniors as well as Kai Sotto and Philip Joaquin Santos, both Blue Eaglets, for the Juniors. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 16th, 2020Related News

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

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 15th, 2020Related News

Carlsen shows clutch moves

Norwegian Magnus Carlsen easily dismissed Armenian Levon Aronian in the semifinal to move closer to the $265,000 Online Clutch Champions Showdown title......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJun 14th, 2020Related News

Joshua, Fury agree to fight in mega-bouts

London, United Kingdom—British heavyweight world champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have agreed in principle to meet in two blockbuster fights, according to both camps on Wednesday (Thursday Philippine time)......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsJun 11th, 2020Related News

Mikey Garcia still wants Manny Pacquiao fight, says Pac-Crawford would be big

As eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao’s boxing career presumably nears its twilight, each fight that the Filipino boxing legend has becomes more and more special. After the 41-year old’s impressive performances against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman in 2019, many believe that Pacquiao - while no longer in his prime - can still very much hang with the best of them inside the ring.  As such, a who’s who of boxing stars have been discussed as potential future Pacquiao opponents, from the likes of welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, even much bigger guys like middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.  Among those names, while arguably not as high-profile, is that of Mikey Garcia.  Garcia has an impressive 40-1 professional record with 30 wins coming by knockout. In that 41-fight stretch, he’s managed to capture world titles in the featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions. He has also beaten former Pacquiao opponents in Broner and Jessie Vargas. His lone loss was against reigning IBF Welterweight World Champion Spence.  Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, has said that he likes the idea of a Pacquiao-Garcia matchup. Garcia, for his part, says that Pacquiao indeed remains his top target once he can return to the ring.  “We haven’t discussed any names, everything got put on hold,” Garcia said in an interview with FightHype.com. “That would be my number one name, the target I would go after, but we have no clue.” Garcia admits that he has no idea as to how things might play out in the future, but maintains that he still does want a fight with “Pacman.”  “Originally, we talked about it, his team was excited for it, now, being that all this happened, who knows? He might want to take something else. He might want to fight someone else. He might just decide to retire, I don’t know, I have no control over what he decides to do. But if he’s still available by the time boxing resumes, then I will definitely be excited for a fight with him.”  While Garcia has long been linked to Pacquiao, a name that’s getting a lot of traction now is fellow welterweight Crawford, the reigning WBO Welterweight World Champion and one of the best pound for pound today.  Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s former long-time promoter and CEO of Top Rank Boxing has spoken about the possibility of a Pacquiao-Crawford clash, and Crawford himself also has the Pinoy boxing icon in his sights.  While it certainly might not do him any favors, Garcia knows just how massive a Pacquiao-Crawford bout will be.  “Him and Crawford, I saw the Instagram posts, Twitter and stuff. I think that would be a big fight for both, meaning that Pacquiao - at his age - he already proved to everybody just by beating [Keith] Thurman, so people are still kind of like ‘Wow!’, surprised that that that happened the way it did.” “I think Crawford has all the skills and talent to make it an awkward, difficult fight for Pacquiao based on height and reach and his IQ, so I think it would be a great fight for both. Can Pacquiao do it one more time? After beating Thurman, can he do it again? Back-to-back against Crawford? Or is he now finally too old to do it? That’s the question,” Garcia added.  The 32-year old California-native even went on to say that after the Thurman bout, he believes Pacquiao can be the one to end Crawford’s undefeated streak.  “I would probably still side with Manny. A little while ago, I think Crawford would have won, but after seeing [versus Thurman], I’m kind of leaning towards Manny, and only because of what I’ve seen with Thurman. Prior to that, I would have said Crawford.”  As for challenging fighters in heavier weight divisions, Garcia believes that Pacquiao has what it takes to play with the big boys, so to speak.  “He’s already fought up to 154, I think two fights at 154 or right under 154, so if he wants to fight some of the bigger guys, or make them come down to 156, 154, he might be able to pull it off,” he stated.  Even a crazy superfight at middleweight? Like one against GGG?  “He’s done it all, so I wouldn’t be surprised. F*ck it, do it! Go for it. He’s already a legend as it is, and he’ll only be greater if he accomplishes something like that. That feat would be f*ckin’ undeniable, one of the greatest achievements in boxing,” Garcia concluded......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 11th, 2020Related News