Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nash Racela and Aldin Ayo named Coach of the Year

The UAAP-NCAA Press Corps selected a couple of coaches who each ended a decade of drought in collegiate basketball as its Coach of the Year.

Nash Racela and Aldin Ayo will share the alum after leading their respective schools to the men's basketball championship this past season.

In what will turn out to be his lone season in charge with the Knights, Ayo brought a team that missed out on the Final Four back to the promised land, denying then-defending champions San Beda a shot at making history in becoming what could have been the first NCAA school to bag the crown for six straight seasons.

The newly-minted head coach of La Salle is the fourth head coach to be bestown his honor in his first season, joining Ato Agustin (2009 with San Sebastian), Juno Sauler (2013 with La Salle), and Boyet Fernandez (2013 with San Beda).

Racela, on the other hand, masterfully managed the Tamaraws' depth and leadership to outlast the University of Santo Tomas.

The duo joins an illustrious group of basketball minds like Norman Black, Frankie Lim, Eric Altamirano, and Louie Alas who have secured the nod.

The awarding is set to take place on January 26, where the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps and SMART Sports will host the Collegiate Basketball Awards.

The event will also honor its SMART Player of the Year and Collegiate Mythical Five, in addition to the Coach of the Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to cast your NBA All-Star vote

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game will be held in Toronto, the first time that the event will take place outside of the United States.

As always, fans dictate the NBA All-Star Game starters, and the league recently released its guidelines for voting through the different media platforms.

Do note that every current NBA player is eligible. Two guards and three frontcourt players.

NBA.com/vote. Just fill out one full ballot per day. Doesn't matter if it is desktop or mobile.
NBA app. Go to the app, which is available on both Android and iOS, and just fill out one full ballot per day.
Twitter: Send a tweet (or a retweet or reply to a tweet) with the player's first and last name along with this hashtag (#NBAVote). Make sure the tweet includes just one player. Fans can do this for up to ten players per day.
Facebook: Post a status or make a comment on a post with the player's first and last name along with this hashtag (#NBAVote). Make sure the post / comment includes just one player. Fans can do this for up to ten players per day.
Instagram: Post an original photo. On the caption, write the player's first and last name along with this hashtag (#NBAVote). Make sure the post includes just one player. Fans can do this for up to ten players per day.
SMS: For those based in the US, Just text the player's surname to MYNBA (69622) from your wireless device. Make sure the message includes just one player. Fans can do this for up to ten players per day per mobile number. Standard messaging and data rates may apply in this case.
Google: Type in either "NBA Vote All-Star" or "NBA Vote Team Name" (i.e. NBA Vote Celtics). The former will lead to a prompt showing all 30 teams. Click the the team of your choice, then click on the players of your choice. The latter will lead you directly to the team, from which you can make your selection. Fans can do this for up to ten players per day.

For China, All-Star Voting is also conducted through Sina Weibo and Tencent.

Last day of voting will be on January 18 at 11:59:59 (January 19 in Manila). Announcement of starters will be on January 21 (January 22 in Manila) during a special edition of the Tip-Off show of NBA on TNT.

League will provide three updates (December 25, January 7, January 14 = December 26, January 8, January 15 in Manila) on ballot returns.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Kiefer Ravena and Alyssa Valdez set Nona fundraiser

The FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan is set to host Kiefer Ravena's third charity endeavor, entitled FASTBR3AK.

Targeting the victims of Nona, Kiefer and fellow Ateneo student-athlete Alyssa Valdez are setting up a fund-raising exhibition volleyball match slated to take place on December 23 at 2pm.

Joining the Phenoms in this endeavor are notable volleyball stars Gretchen Ho, Denden Lazaro, Michele Gumabao, and Charo Soriano, as well as collegiate basketball stars Kevin Ferrer and the Escoto brothers. Volleyball legend and broadcaster Mozzy Ravena will also be among the participants.

Kiefer and Alyssa will be leading their own respective teams in this exhibition matchup, which will include a raffle as well as a hulahoop contest between Valdez and a lucky ticket holder.

Kiefer says, "We want to help them in the spirit of Christmas," adding that "We hope they will not be too devastated by what happened and this is one way of making happy this Christmas."

The two-time MVP has already undertaken charitable endeavors before, targeting those who had been affected by Sendong and Yolanda.

Tickets to FASTBR3AK will be available starting December 21 at the Ally's All-Day Breakfast Place outlets in Malingap St, as well as Holy Spirit Drive in Quezon City. Tickets cost PhP 250 and PhP 500.

Team Kiefer: Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Gretchen Ho, Denden Lazaro, Bang Pineda, Jem Ferrer, Charo Soriano, Russel Escoto, and Mac Dionisio

Team Alyssa: Alyssa Valdez, Ella de Jesus, Michele Gumabao, Jen Reyes, Dani Ravena, Mozzy Ravena, Richard Escoto, IC Mendoza

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kiefer Ravena launches personal website

Kiefer Ravena wants to boost his already burgeoning fanbase.

The two-time UAAP MVP on Tuesday officially launched his own website in a simple launch at the recently-opened Ally's All Day Breakfast Place at The Rock in Quezon City.

The website (www.kieferravena.com), according the Ateneo star, allows him to directly communicate to his fans with his latest updates on and off the court.

According to Kiefer, not everyone has access to his different social media accounts, but most have access to the internet. He says, "I want to increase my fan base, to be able to reach people abroad."

He shared that he once had a website before, but it had been difficult to maintain given that he was just starting his UAAP career, but he adds, "Now, going to the pros, I have time to prepare something for the fans. I want to make everything easier for them."

This site will have blog posts from the Sinag standout himself, allowing him to address different topics, not just limited to basketball. Fans have the chance to have a live chat with him, too. He hopes to have that on a weekly basis.

Statements from Ravena directly on certain matters will also be posted there, as well as his scheduled on and off court activities.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

UAAP HS basketball caps first round action today

UAAP High School Basketball Standings:

NU 6-0
Ateneo 5-1
DLS-Z 5-1
FEU-Diliman 3-3
Adamson 3-3
UST 2-4
UPIS 0-6
UE 0-6

UAAP High School Basketball schedule at the Blue Eagle Gym:

9am: UPIS vs. UE
11am: FEU-Diliman vs. UST
1pm: Adamson vs. DLS-Z
3pm: Ateneo vs. NU

A rematch of last year's finals is set to cap off high school basketball this year.

Defending champions Ateneo seek to put a dent on unbeaten National University later today at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Bullpups have racked up six straight wins, behind the duo of John Lloyd Clemente and Justine Baltazar, while the Blue Eaglets have won five straight after losing their opening assignment to La Salle-Zobel.

Just before that matchup, the 5-1 Junior Archers, with recent La Salle commit Aljun Melecio, go up against Adamson at 1pm. The Baby Falcons are tied with FEU-Diliman at 3-3 for fourth. The Baby Tamaraws will face the UST Tiger Cubs at 11am.

Opening the quadruple header at 9am is the matchup involving winless UPIS and UE.

Friday, December 11, 2015

ONE FC: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS caps off 2015 for ONE Championship

The Weigh-In for ONE FC: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS is later today.

To send 2015 off with a bang, ONE Championship has put together a MMA event at the SM Mall of Asia Arena this Friday, December 11.

According to ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui, 2015 for him was an "amazing year," acknowledging that they have "climbed new heights while breaking barriers and spreading the ideals of the MMA discipline."

Highlighting the fight card is the ONE Heavyweight World Championship title fight between Brandon "The Truth" Vera and Paul "Typhoon" Cheng. Cheng, of course, is the late replacement for Chi Lewis-Parry, who was dropped by ONE Championship on Tuesday.

Supporting the main event fight are four more bouts involving Pinoy fighters.

One fight sees the return of former women's boxing world champion Ana "Hurricane" Julaton, as she faces former wushu world champion Irina Mazepa of Russia in a flyweight bout.

Just before the Vera fight, Mark Striegl will be facing off against Reece McClaren, while Eugene Toquero faces Chinese opposition in Li Wei Bin in the flyweight division. Toquero is fresh from a UD loss to Riku Shibuya on ONE: TIGERS OF ASIA, and hopes that a win here would vault him back into title contention.

Completing the cast of Pinoy fighters is Ruel Catalan, who will face Alex Silva of Brazil in a flyweight bout.

The other matches scheduled sees a couple more featherweight bouts (Christian Lee against David Meak, and Bruno Pucci against Anthony Engelen) and a strawweight matchup (Angela Lee against Lena Tkhorevska).

A ninth fight was supposed to take place, but Yang Jian Bing was suffering from severe dehydration in attempting to make weight and his match against Geje Eustaquio was called off on Thursday.

Cui remains committed in "cultivating local homegrown heroes from the grassroots into bonafide superstars," adding that when fans cheer on their favorite fighter/s in a place like the MOA Arena, "that is when we know we have done a good job."

Cui believes that 2016 "will be even better," as ONE Championship is expected to conduct more shows in iconic cities throughout Asia.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

ONE FC drops Chi Lewis-Parry from SPIRIT of Champions

In a statement released on Tuesday, ONE Championship made the decision to remove Chi Lewis-Parry from the ONE FC: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS MMA event slated this Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The outfit cited the inability of Parry to provide his medical results and drug tests in spite of numerous requests to do so. He also has opted not to take the flight from London to Manila.

Parry had been slated to face Brandon Vera for the ONE FC Heavyweight title, but replacing him will be Paul Cheng.

ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui released a statement on this matter:

BREAKING NEWS:After multiple requests made by ONE Officials directly to Chi Lewis Parry and his Manager over the last...
Posted by Victor Cui on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In the interest of fairness, Lewis-Parry posted this on Facebook when he learned about the move.

Dear world. As I forewarned, One Championship have ripped my shot from my grasp. They pretended Paul Cheng was...
Posted by Chi Lewis-Parry on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ONE FC: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS will be shown LIVE on Friday, December 11, on Fox Sports 2, starting at 830pm.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

IPTL Manila leg participants and standings

The participants of the IPTL leg in Manila:

Japan Warriors: Mirjana Lucic, Kurumi Nara, Marat Safin, Leander Paes, Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philippine Mavericks: Serena Williams, Milos Raonic, Mark Philippoussis, Treat Huey, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Jarmila Gajdosova, Richard Gasquet, Ajla Tomljanovic

Micromax Indian Aces: Rafael Nadal, Sam Stosur, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, Fabrice Santoro, Ivan Dodig

Obi UAE Royals: Ana Ivanovic, Tomas Berdych, Goran Ivanisevic, Kiki Mladenovic, Daniel Nestor

Oue Singapore Slammers: Belinda Bencic, Carlos Moya, Nick Kyrgios, Karolina Pliskova, Dustin Brown, Marcelo Melo

IPTL standings post-Kobe leg:

UAE 2-0 (56-35 = 61.54%)
India 2-0 (52-46 = 53.06%)
Philippines 1-1 (52-50 = 50.98%)
Singapore 1-2 (68-77 = 46.9%)
Japan 0-3 (63-83 = 43.15%)

Scheduled games:

1st game is 4pm. Second game is 715pm.

December 6: Japan-Singapore and Philippines-UAE
December 7: India-UAE and Philippines-Japan
December 8: Singapore-UAE and Philippines-India

Serena Williams leads Philippine Mavericks in 2015 IPTL

Serena leads the Mavericks
Year 2 of the International Premier Tennis League kicked off in Kobe, Japan on Wednesday, with the top women's player in the world leading the Pinoy cast.

Serena Williams leads the rebranded Philippine Mavericks, which has the lone Pinoy player on the IPTL in doubles specialist Treat Huey.

Serena had arguably one of the most impressive seasons in WTA history, being able to hold all four Grand Slams simultaneously by winning the Australian, French, and Wimbledon to complete the "Serena Slam" with the 2014 US Open.

Her greatness is already assured by being the active leader in combined titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, whether male or female. She's seventh all-time in Grand Slams with 34 and is 3rd all-time in weeks at number 1.

Joining Serena and Treat in the Philippine Mavericks roster are Richard Gasquet, Sabine Lisicki, Jarmila Gajdosova, Borna Coric, and team skipper Mark Philippoussis

With the Manila leg taking place starting today at the Mall of Asia Arena, PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali expressed excitement with the "level of premier entertainment" this brings to the Pinoys. He adds that this edition of the IPTL will be "bigger and more extradordinary," with more than 30 international tennis stars coming in.

PLDT HOME Fibr subscribers can avail of a 20% discount for the IPTL Manila leg, with the chance to win VIP tickets complete with a Uber Black red carpet treatment.